The Hyperloop system proposed by Elon Musk's SpaceX company is moving closer to becoming a reality, and over a hundred teams of engineers have descended on College Station, Texas this weekend to present their ideas for a passenger pod to run through the system.
SpaceX's team of judges are going to pick between 15 and 24 finalists who will then be invited to test out their designs on the half-scale track currently being set up in California.
That should happen sometime in June and will mark a significant step forward for the project - it remains a speculative initiative for the time being but Elon Musk and his colleagues are resolutely pushing on with their plans to shoot passengers between San Francisco and Los Angeles at high speeds through a sealed tube.
In the loop
SpaceX has enough on its plate with rocket launches and so wants to help other companies make the Hyperloop a reality. Once a passenger pod design has been picked, a manufacturer can be chosen to do the actual production.
"Neither SpaceX nor Elon Musk is affiliated with any Hyperloop companies," explains the firm. "While we are not developing a commercial Hyperloop ourselves, we are interested in helping to accelerate development of a functional Hyperloop prototype."
Most of the teams involved in the competition are from universities, reports Fortune, though one originates from Reddit: while some have designed full pods, others have focused on specific systems such as braking.
- Find out how the Hyperloop idea first started