In Brief
Elon Musk suggests that pods could reach supersonic speeds on SpaceX's Hyperloop test tunnel, as the winner of the first Hyperloop Pod competition retains its title with a speed three times faster than its prior effort.

In the Loop

Over the weekend Elon Musk announced that WARR — a team of students from the University of Munich — were declared the winners of SpaceX and The Boring Company’s second Hyperloop Pod competition. Their entry accomplished a speed of 324 kilometers per hour (201 miles per hour) traveling down a tunnel measuring 0.8 miles.

Elon Musk congratulated the team on Twitter shortly after the event. This kind of testing demonstrates how far the Hyperloop project has come in a short span of time: going from a novel idea to something on the verge of fruition, with college students building pods that can actually run on a working track.

Musk certainly seems to feel that the test demonstrates the project’s enormous potential. He stated that it might be possible to reach supersonic speeds in the test tunnel at SpaceX’s headquarters, even though it’s less than a mile long. The Tesla CEO noted that due to the length limitation, very high levels of acceleration and deceleration would be required — of course, that wouldn’t be a problem for a full-scale implementation of Hyperloop technology.

On the Horizon

The first Hyperloop Pod competition was held in January 2017. Advances made since that time demonstrate just how quickly this technology is coming along. WARR also took home the prize for fastest pod on that occasion, but their previous design could only manage a speed of 94 kilometers per hour (58 miles per hour).

Events like this one are intended to spur wider interest in the Boring Company’s burgeoning Hyperloop technology — but that being said, while Musk no doubt would be pleased if his company’s was the first to make the technology a reality, when asked about another company working on similar tech — Hyperloop OneMusk replied, “I hope they and any others trying to advance transport technology succeed.”

Of course, that doesn’t mean that he’s about to scale down his own attempt to crack high-speed long-distance transportation. Musk also revealed that he plans to test out the SpaceX pusher sled on the track later this week.