UC Merced students hoping to contribute to Hyperloop project

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Taking cutting edge technology by storm. That's what a group of UC Merced students are hoping to do. (KFSN)

Taking cutting edge technology by storm. That's what a group of UC Merced students are hoping to do. The team is traveling to Texas this week to help bring a new type transportation system to life.

"We are talking about a fast transportation system," said Venkattayya Swamy, UC Merced professor.

So fast that if you blink you most likely will miss it. It is called the hyperloop. A concept similar to the high-speed rail system except this is more like a human bullet. It can travel through a tube at speeds of almost 800 miles per hour. Capable of transporting passengers from Los Angeles to San Francisco in just 30 minutes.

A group called the Hypercats, a team of four, is one of 1,200 teams heading to Texas Thursday to compete and bring this cutting edge transportation development to life. Their goal is simple. "Stop the part that carries passengers safely without there being an accident or people getting hurt," said Benjamin Bocanegra, UC Merced student.

They have designed a complex emergency braking system to make that happen. Duval Johsnon, UC Merced graduate student, explains how it works in the simplest way. "So like a roller coaster system they typically limit your G forces, how much weight you fill-- like right now you experience one G your weight standing. We don't want you to experience more the four times your weight, so we have to limit the movement up off the ground and bring it to a complete stop."

The group has been working on this braking design for this vacuum like chamber since last August. Their advisor said the work they have done is changing how people view a school that by the looks of it is secluded. "There is sometimes a perception in the community that we're a bit separate, but these types of things are opportunities are a way for us to show that we are contributing to society, technology, and people."

The Hypercats leave Thursday for Austin Texas. If they win this round in the competition they will then start the process of building the parts for the emergency braking system.
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educationuc mercedmercedtransportationtechnologymerced countyMerced
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