The United States-based space transport service provider SpaceX hosted a hyperloop pod design test competition over the past weekend at the company’s Hawthorne, California headquarters. A first of its kind, the event was designed to let student teams develop and demonstrate their pod designs in low-pressure environments in a test track.

Overall 30 teams were handpicked to partake in the test, although only three of them managed to perform runs as each team was required to pass several tests for the verification of vacuum chamber survivability, structural integrity, and more.

SpaceX Hyperloop contest
Image via Wired

The teams that successfully ran their pods include a team from Delft University, one from MIT, and one from WARR, a student group from the Technical University of Munich, Wired reports. All these three teams ran their pods inside a designated test tube, with the fastest pod (WARR) travelling at a speed of approximately 90 kmph.

If 90 kmph is less than what you had initially anticipated, there’s a reason for that. The one-mile test track is simply not long enough for the pods to achieve the maximum speed of 300 kmph that Hyperloop technologies will eventually aim for. Also, this is also just the beginning for the aforementioned three designs.

The team from the Netherlands-based Delft University secured the best overall score for the design. The second and third spots were grabbed by TUM and the MIT team respectively. Worth noting, the award for the best overall design in 2016 went to MIT.

The final phase of the competition will be held this summer and it will probably see all of the 30 teams selected for the showdown getting a chance to actively participate with their respective pods.

It seems Elon Musk’s vision to revolutionize the transportation world is on the right track, after all!


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