Elon Musk first sparked the idea of travel through tunnels, bringing hours of commute time down to minutes. Many thought of it as a little crazy but the high-speed travel is closer than ever to becoming a reality as the Hyperloop Pod Competition participants just achieved top speeds reaching over 200 miles an hour.
The Hyperloop Pod Competition was held right next to the SpaceX headquarters where 25 teams participated with their concepts of the pod, to run on a 1.25 kilometer (0.77 miles) track. The team to cover this distance in the shortest time was to be declared the winner. Of the 25 participants, three made it to the finals, and the winner was Warr team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM).
The TUM team built a small pod the likes of an electric car, which weighed only 80 kilograms (176 pounds) and beat the other two competitors by a good margin going a little over 200 miles an hour powered by a 50 kW motor.
The winner of the Hyperloop competition held back in January was also the same team being the fastest pod. The three teams that participated in this session managed new records either with speed or efficiency.
A team from Northeastern University and Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador that went by the name Paradigm had its pod pushed down the tube using SpaceX’s pusher and achieved the top speed of 101 kilometers an hour (~60mph) with reduced friction using air bearings and extensive lateral control. Paradigm stood the second in terms of speed.
Swissloop from Switzerland’s ETH Zurich only got to 40 kilometers an hour (~25mph) using jet propulsion, but that was after it met an issue during the initial launch.
As the competition moved towards the end, Elon Musk confidently commented that the pods in the future could hit speeds of 500 to 600 miles an hour on the 1.25-kilometer test track. We await the next hyper loop competition that will feature the pods moving at marvellous speeds, even beating air travel.