Stay on target
SpaceX feels the need for speed.
Elon Musk’s aerospace firm last week announced its second Hyperloop Pod Competition, scheduled for Aug. 25-27.
Student teams from around the world will gather at SpaceX’s 1.25-kilometer test track in Hawthorne, Calif., to demonstrate their handiwork.
But unlike the January competition weekend, which featured multiple judging criteria, participants will be evaluated on only one principle: maximum speed with successful deceleration (i.e. no crashing).
The current summer roster includes new and returning 24 teams from the US, UK (University of Edinburgh), Poland (Warsaw University of Technology), India (BITS Pilani), Germany (University of Applied Sciences Emden-Leer/University of Oldenburg, Technical University of Munich), Japan (Keio University), and Spain (Universitat Politecnica de Valencia).
“Based on the high-quality submissions and overwhelming enthusiasm surrounding the first competition, SpaceX has moved forward with Hyperloop Pod Competition II,” the company said in a recent announcement.
Musk in 2013 introduced his concept of high-speed ground transportation. But before he could move forward with a functional prototype, the entrepreneur convened a 2015 student competition to design and build a half-scale Hyperloop Pod.
“SpaceX is revolutionizing terrestrial transportation through its Hyperloop transportation services,” the firm’s website said.
There is no word on when Hyperloop Pod Competition II winners will be announced, or what the next step in the building process is.
SpaceX did, however, emphasize that the August competition is an official event, and has “no affiliation with any Hyperloop companies, including, but not limited to, those frequently referenced by the media.”
Companies like Hyperloop One, which put the finishing touches on its 1,640-foot testing tube in North Las Vegas earlier this month.
As described by the startup, said tube will carry passenger- and cargo-filled pods traveling at speeds approaching a commercial airliner. Hyperloop One plans to have 500 engineers, fabricators, scientists, and other employees working on its technology by the year’s end.