University teams around the world met to test out their designs at the first of two Hyperloop Pod Competitions. SpaceX has spent the last 6 months constructing the world’s second largest low-pressure environment in the form of a one mile test track, second only the famous LHC.
The Hyperloop track built near SpaceX’s headquarters in Hawthorne, California, since early September allows teams to test vehicles of three main types: Wheel, Air Bearings and Magnetic levitation.
SpaceX also constructed a vehicle it calls the Pusher to get pods up to operational speed and outlined basic specifications of a track for students to design their pods around.
Initial interest in the competition was in the thousands, but by the time of competition only 27 teams actually made it through the rigours of the process. Of those 27 teams only 3 won the right to run their pod in the test track.
Delft, MIT, and WARR
The competition was one of truly global participation but after a battery of safety and engineering tests conducted Saturday on the 27 pods brought to California only MIT here in America, WARR of Germany, and DELFT of the Netherlands earned the right to run the track.
MIT won the award for safety and reliability, while WARR won for fastest pod. DELFT walked away with the best overall score in all categories.
Eyes to the Future
While it was an exciting weekend for many geeks worldwide, we are already looking forward to this summer when the second competition will take place. Teams will return home with the lessons learned, contacts made and a drive to see how they can improve their PODs for the second competition on a yet to be announced date this summer.
We wish them luck and look forward to further innovation in this exciting transport system.