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.

hyperloop pod competition

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.