Imagine getting from Los Angeles to San Francisco in just about 30 minutes. That kind of high-speed travel is the end-game of SpaceX’s Hyperloop, and teams around the world are working hard to come up with the right pod for the job.
Three such teams gathered at SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, California, last Sunday to compete in the third SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition. From a starting group of 20 teams, these three qualified to launch on SpaceX’s Hyperloop track.
The Hyperloop, a high-speed form of ground transportation, was conceptualized by Elon Musk five years ago. Since then, he’s encouraged students to design, build, and test their Hyperloop pod prototypes at the SpaceX campus.
The teams had a simple goal: to achieve the fastest speed, and brake safely. But beyond hitting the high speeds, this competition allows teams to share designs and inform future prototypes, with their innovations forming the foundation for the Hyperloop pods that will one day transport people and cargo.
Though a complete Hyperloop network is still a long time away, each year we move a little closer to that 30-minute LA-to-San Fran jaunt.