A successful run
Thirty-five student teams tested their Hyperloop pods at an event in Hawthorne, CA this weekend, completing the second phase of SpaceX’s multi-stage Hyperloop innovation competition. The tech at this event actually worked, and is bringing us even closer to the possibility of watching dinner and a movie in a city that’s five-hundred miles away, before returning home to sleep that same night.
The fifth mode of transportation
In 2013 Elon Musk published an alpha paper proposing a vacuum sealed tube that can transport magnetically levitated pods at breakneck speeds. This fifth form of transportation is a combination of the ships, planes, cars, and trains that came before it. Like an airplane, the pods will travel in a low pressure environment with minimal friction. This is how they can travel up to 700 miles per hour without causing discomfort to passengers. In this seven to ten foot diameter tube people can cut transportation time to cities 8 hours away by car down to a scant thirty minutes with Hyperloop.
SpaceX announced the competition last year, and put innovators and students to the task of designing and building pods that could work in the Hyperloop chamber.
[clickToTweet tweet=”This weekend, 35 finalists give their inventions a whirl in the SpaceX specially-designed vacuum tube.” quote=”This weekend thirty-five finalists converged in Hawthorne to test out their inventions and give them a whirl in the SpaceX specially-designed vacuum tube.”]
The teams are from 17 countries across the world, all with Hyperloop dreams.
SpaceX and non-affiliated Hyperloop Technologies Inc. have joined forces to offer 150 thousand dollars to winners and runners-up of the pod invention contest.
SpaceX isn’t the first company to offer prize money in exchange for innovation. In fact, Charles Lindberg was inspired to fly solo from New York to Paris in 1927 for $25,000 put up by a local hotelier. Since then, innovation has been crowdsourced like this on many occasions.
From private space exploration to reversing aging in mice, prizes have inspired innovators from students to professionals to backyard hobbyists, and they won’t go away anytime soon.
As for the Hyperloop, this technology is closer than we may think. Teams this weekend successfully tested complete pods in a pressureless chamber, and spurred the next phase of competition that will arrive in Summer 2017. While this technology may not be mainstream anytime soon, the United Arab Emirates has already contracted with Hyperloop One to build a hyperloop system connecting Dubai and Abu Dhabi — shortening the time is takes to travel between the two major cities from two hours to a mere twelve minutes.
With Space X’s competition and new innovations on the horizon, globalization may become the new norm, and our world may soon get just a little bit bigger.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Globalization may become the new norm, and our world might get just a little bit bigger.” quote=”With Space X’s competition and new innovations on the horizon, globalization may become the new norm, and our world may soon get just a little bit bigger.”]