SpaceX announces Hyperloop Pod Competition to support independent engineers

Elon Musk revealed the blueprint for the Hyperloop almost two years ago and we are already seeing a few companies and small university teams work on concept pods.

SpaceX wants to further the field of development by investing in one-mile of track for engineer and university teams to test the Hyperloop pod. The track will be located at Hawthorne, California, near SpaceX’s headquarters.

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Even though SpaceX is not actively investing in Hyperloop development, this should help towards the testing of systems. There is no current venture looking to build a Hyperloop track in the US, even with the plans laid out by Musk for development of a San Francisco to Los Angeles.

Companies capable of showing their system works may be able to receive city or private funding. It might also allow companies to receive a global audience, allowing them to work with investors in China, Japan and other Asian countries where transport is more advanced.

Elon Musk did say if there wasn’t a concept in the first few years, he may invest further to push the Hyperloop forward. It is not clear if Musk’s intentions are still on keeping the Hyperloop as a blueprint, or actively building a concept for companies and cities to borrow.

The Hyperloop is capable of travelling at speeds over 500 mph for short distance travel, between 30 minutes and five hours. It is a way to surpass the current speeds available on train journeys, although it is not a solution for journeys that take over five hours, like flights to another continent.

The current plans for a San Francisco to Los Angeles route seem to be the most popular, but other routes like New York to Washington D.C. and even London to Edinburgh have been suggested.