SpaceX founder Elon Musk is all about pushing cutting-edge tech — even if it's not something any of his companies are actually involved in doing.
SpaceX has officially announced plans to officially host a Hyperloop Pod Competition, which is open to interested designers and college programs with aims to construct “human-scale pods” that can travel through a Hyperloop. If you’re unfamiliar, the Hyperloop concept aims to use reduced-pressure tubes and pressurized capsules that ride on an air cushion for high-speed travel. The long-term implication is for potential public transit.
Musk is the one who put forth the Hyperloop idea but up until this point has said he doesn’t want SpaceX to actually get into the market of trying to build it. Instead, he’s building a one-mile test track beside the SpaceX headquarters in California as a high-profile tech demo. The test track will be used for the pod competition. Though they’re designing “human-scale pods,” SpaceX was quick to note that no humans will be riding along inside for the contest. Bummer.
The hope is that the competition will generate some interest in the viability of Hyperloop tech, while also pushing forward development on a workable transport pod for people. SpaceX is also expected to build its own pod, but only for demo purposes.
The full details of the contest (i.e. specs, etc.) should be announced in August, and final pod designs will be due by the end of the year.
(Via The Verge)