Hyperloop Pod Competition 2018 will take place this weekend, on the 22nd of July 2018.
20 student teams from the U.S, Germany, Switzerland, Netherlands, Ireland, Spain have done their final preparations in Hawthorne, California. The Hyperloop test track system is built by SpaceX at its headquarters. It is approximately one mile in length and is freely accessible to the public.
The competition was announced in 2015. This one is already the third edition. It will focus on a single criterion—maximum speed. Additionally, all Pods must be self-propelled (which was not required last year). One new thing about the competition this year – there will be a sub-race for pods based on levitation technology. All Transrapid fans – this might become your moment of glory!
If you are still wondering – what Hyperloop is about:
Back in 2012, Elon Musk published his white paper about the “fifth mode of transportation”. As a CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, Elon had to commute between San Francisco and Los Angeles quite frequently. 382 miles is a distance which is far too long for a car drive (unless you are doing a road trip which is, by the way, a great road to take – road 1 until Santa Cruz, and then the highway).
The distance is still too short for a flight. Hyperloop should become a mixture of both – pods travelling in a vacuum tube with a maximum speed of up to 1200 km/h). This paper triggered a global Hyperloop movement which was first considered to be nerdy craziness. But Elon was freaking serious about his aspirations. The student competition catalysed engineering efforts and scientific research. More than 40 companies were founded. Virgin Hyperloop One and Hyperloop Transportation Technologies HTT are the most prominent ones. The first commercial ride is expected in 2020 in Dubai.
Staying in Amsterdam this week, I can’t mention that the Netherlands is a role model when it comes to sustainable innovation in transportation. Hardt is a Dutch Hyperloop startup which raised 1.25m EUR seed capital. Former students, who were among the winners of the first Hyperloop Pod competitions, aspire to lead smart mobility and collaborate with the Dutch government.
What about Germany? A futuristic travelling tube that „shoots“ people from Frankfurt to Munich within 20 minutes; and this is cheaper, “greener” and more comfortable than ever” – to the majority of Germans it still sounds like something out of a science-fiction movie. But not to the students from WARR Hyperloop. These students from Munich are winners of the Hyperloop Pod competition 2017 and very ambitious participants of this year’s race. This year, they hope for 600 kmh!
WARR Hyperloop, I keep my fingers crossed!
Here is a short recap from the last year: