A train is leaving from Los Angeles to San Francisco traveling at 56 mph and takes 8 hours to arrive. This isn’t an algebra problem, this is an efficiency problem. In 2012, Elon Musk proposed an alternative to the slow and inefficient Amtrak “Coast Starlight” train line, called the Hyperloop. The Hyperloop is a high-speed transportation system that would propel passengers between the two cities in “pods” at up to 800 mph, approximately 200 miles faster than the average cruising speed of a 747. While the Hyperloop has remained a pipe-dream for many who frequently travel between the two cities, today, Musk announced a competition that might just get the ball rolling on its development.
Open to university students and independent engineering teams, Musk has asked participants to design the pods that will carry passengers between the two cities. By opening the pod design contest to only independent engineering teams and students, Musk is clearly leaning on innovative new thinking, but also making a statement that he’s looking for the best design, not just the design that gets funded first.
While there has not been mention of a prize for winning the competition, Musk promised to elaborate more on the contest in August. Until then, applicants can learn more about the guidelines and sign up to compete on the SpaceX website.
What Sparks Our Fire: Creatively shaping the future of transportation and design through an exciting open-source competition.