The SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition is taking place this weekend!
The future of transportation
Engineering teams and university students from around the world participating in Elon Musk’s Hyperloop competition will get a chance to test out one of Elon Musk’s futuristic ideas this Sunday: the Hyperloop.
All the knowledge gained during the competition will continue to be open-sourced.
In 2013, Elon Musk released a 57-page white paper detailing his plan for the Hyperloop, a futuristic transit system that could propel people in pods at speeds topping 1127 Km/h.
SpaceX then announced an open competition for university students and independent engineering teams to design and build a Hyperloop pod that will travel through a vacuum tube. They received more than 1,200 applications but the participating teams were narrowed down to 30.
A student-led Hyperloop design team from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology won the first round of the contest: Hyperloop Pod Competition I.
Due to the high-quality submissions and overwhelming enthusiasm surrounding the competition, SpaceX is moving forward with a second installment of the competition: Hyperloop Pod Competition II.
They have constructed a test track where teams will be able to test their human-scale pods during a competition weekend. Engineers from SpaceX will serve as the judges for the contest.
Hyperloop Competition II will be focused on a single criterion: maximum speed.
Hyperloop — The Concept
Hyperloop is a proposed mode of passenger and freight transportation that propels a pod-like vehicle through a near-vacuum tube at more than airline speed. The pods would accelerate to cruising speed gradually using a linear electric motor and glide above their track using passive magnetic levitation or air bearings. The tubes could also go above ground on columns or underground, eliminating the dangers of grade crossings. It is hoped that the system will be highly energy-efficient, quiet and autonomous.
On the Hyperloop, a one way trip between Kisumu and Nairobi is projected to take about 2 minutes.
Neither SpaceX nor Elon Musk is planning to pursue the Hyperloop commercially. They are however interested in helping to accelerate development of a functional Hyperloop prototype through this competition.