MIT HyperloopMore than 100 teams competed in Elon Musk's Hyperloop pod design contest over the weekend, but one team's design impressed more than others.
The MIT Hyperloop team won first place for the best overall design and will have the opportunity to build and test their Hyperloop pod design on a one-mile test track at SpaceX headquarters later this year.
The Hyperloop is a futuristic transport system that carries passengers in capsules at speeds reaching more than 500 miles per hour.
MIT's pod design is about 8.2 feet long, 3.2 feet wide, and will weigh about 550 pounds. It is also expected to reach a top speed of 110 meters per second. The team aims to have their prototype built by mid-May.
Musk first proposed the Hyperloop back in 2013 in a white paper and while he does not plan to commercially pursue developing the Hyperloop, it was his idea to host the contest to see who could come up with the best pod design.
"It's clear that the public and the public want something new. And I think you guys are going to bring it to them," Musk said during the award ceremony on Saturday.
YouTube/DaudpechlerMusk said that the goal of the competition is to come up with a pod design that can actually be used in a real-world setting. He added that when SpaceX hosts the final round of the competition later this year, they will also be looking for suggestions on how a real world track should be built.
"We want to bring this to fruition and show people that something new and great can happen and that it doesn't have to be the same old thing," Musk said.
Because the test track will only be one-mile long, teams will only be able to reach a top speed of about 240 miles per hour. Participating teams will aim to get their pod to travel as fast as possible on the track, but they must also be capable of stopping at the end of the track.
The top five winning teams include the following schools:
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT Hyperloop
- Delft Hyperloop
- The University of Wisconsin, BadgerLoop
- Virginia Tech University, Hyperloop at Virginia Tech
- The University of California Irvine, HyperXite
However, SpaceX announced at the ceremony that a total of 22 teams would move on to the final round of the competition, which will take place in June.
The company said that as many as 10 additional teams may also be invited to test out their pod design on the track. The judges will invite any other teams sometime this week, a SpaceX engineer said during the closing ceremony.