SpaceX has announced something called a "Hyperloop pod competition".
It's based on a high-speed transportation concept that the company's founder, Elon Musk, first teased in January. He basically dreamed up a network of pneumatic tubes that aerodynamic passenger pods could travel through at speeds of up to 760 mph, meaning a trip between San Francisco and Los Angeles would take just 35 minutes. Amazing, right?
Musk said the Hyperloop could form a fifth tent pole of modern transportation, joining cars, planes, trains, and boats, but he didn't elaborate much more on the concept at the time. Now, SpaceX has an official Hyperloop racing contest in the works that aims to have university students and independent engineering teams build half-scale pods that'll be tested near SpaceX headquarters.
Keep in minds no humans will ride in the pods. This is just an engineering contest, essentially, apart from a pod race. The idea is that SpaceX will get the ball rolling; it wants to turn the Hyperloop into reality. The company plans to release more details, rules, and criteria in August, and the teams' pods must be built to these specifications. All pod designs must also be submitted open source.
Musk claimed he doesn't want to build the Hyperloop infrastructure, but with this contest and competition, SpaceX can help accelerate he technology. Teams have until 15 September to submit their intent to compete, and their final designs will be due three months after that.
SpaceX officials plan to vet the proposals and provide feedback. The actual pod-racing competition, which will feature the finished pods pitted against each other, is scheduled at the Hawthorne test track in June of next year.