It was back in 2013 that Elon Musk and Space X unveiled plans for Hyperloop; a revolutionary high-speed Rapid Transit network. In the beginning, it was just a spare time brainwave from the great tech icon, but now he intends to transform it into reality. The company will be building a 1-Km test track just for this purpose, and it will invite institutions and tech companies from all over the world to come and compete their Hyperloop pod prototypes on the track. A handful of startups have initiated, and they are aiming to develop rival competition for the Space X, but with the announcement of this contest, the SpaceX’s ambition has returned to kickstart this project.
It is a development centered project and organizations have to declare their interest by September this year. The event will be held on June 2016 at the Los Angeles company campus, and the racing track will be ready by then. But, to have an update on the designs, SpaceX will also host a meetup in January to assess the projects and provide advice on the various designs. Companies that are bidding to win it will have the golden opportunity of talking with potential investors and engaging them with their unique plans.
Although SpaceX wants to introduce human sized transport system, the company has laid a ground rule that there will be no manned drives during the competition. That has provided some relief for the competitors as crucial safety measures and shortcomings will take time and resources to develop. The main aim for them will be to make the right capsule for the closed track. There is no mention by SpaceX or Musk regarding the prize money or what is at stake at the event. But, it is understandable that the winner will gain access to SpaceX’s investors on this project and get technical and operational guidance from the tech giant itself.
It is turning out to be an exciting tech race between SpaceX and other promoters of Hyperloop. Another company, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies already has plans for a huge 5-mile demonstration loop in California. However, in a positive gesture, SpaceX will have all the data on an open source platform for people to benefit.