The competition to design a Hyperloop pod is underway

Hyperloop art
Will the Hyperloop look something like this?

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.

David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.