After two successful runs back in January and then in August of this year, SpaceX is gearing up for the third installment of its Hyperloop Pod Competition set on summer 2018. Open to both new and returning student teams, the contest would once again happen at SpaceX’s 1.24-km (0.77-mile) long hyperloop test track, built near its headquarters at Hawthorne, California.
As promised at the end of last August’s contest, interested students can already submit applications beginning this month. Just like the two previous contests, the third one would focus on a specific aspect.
“The competition will focus on a single criterion — maxi[m]um speed,” SpaceX says on its website. CEO and founder Elon Musk said at the previous contest that there’s no reason for these pods not to reach speeds of up to 804 to 956 k/h (500 to 600 mph). “Additionally, all Pods must be self-propelled,” the site also says, which means the contestant’s pods won’t be allowed to use SpaceX’s pusher vehicle for an initial boost.
SpaceX has decided to continue with this idea-fest, despite Musk opting to build his own version of the hyperloop via his new tunnel-digging venture, the Boring Company. Musk’s decision was received by other hyperloop startups, which had their beginnings in SpaceX’s competition, with mixed feelings. For the hyperloop to become the future of transporation, however, it needs all the push it can get. So, SpaceX remains open for ideas.