Haute 100: Elon Musk & SpaceX Kicks Off First-Ever Hyperloop Pod Competition at Texas A&M


Today, SpaceX kicks off its first ever Hyperloop Pod Competition at Texas A&M. If you have been living under rock, Hyperloop is a high-speed ground transport concept first proposed by SpaceX and Tesla Motors co-founder Elon Musk in 2013. The world’s most imaginative and innovative engineering minds come together to form more than 120 university teams to present their design concepts to a panel of judges on how to make Hyperloop a reality.

According to Texas A&M University, “during the two-day competition, more than 1,000 bright young innovators will enjoy down time in the Hall of Champions at Kyle Field, which will be transformed into a hub of innovation for futuristic transportation with hands-on experiential displays. U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx has confirmed his attendance, along with many SpaceX and Tesla employees.”

Each team was selected by SpaceX.

In a statement, Nick Hemstreet, a computer engineering major and part of Texas A&M’s HyperWhoop team, said, “I’m nervous. I don’t like waiting and now that we’ve submitted it I just want to know. But I’m mostly excited about talking to industry people about how to improve our design and walking around and talking to other teams about what they’ve done. We really haven’t gotten much public feedback yet, so finally letting everyone see what we’ve been working on is going to be great.”

In addition, Nickelodeon is considering sponsoring one or more teams participating in the design competition, more specifically the teams that are currently in high school. The network hopes the sponsorship will promote STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) among teens. The sponsorship could include a $20,000 (or more) grant to help build a real-life version of the team’s pod design.

According to Verge, 17-year-old Andrew Awad was contacted by the network expressing their interest in his team. Awad is a high school junior at St. John’s High School in Houston and the team captain of HyperLift, his school’s Hyperloop team.

“I was in so much shock,” Awad said. “It’s not typical for company like Nickelodeon to sponsor an event like this. It’s not a technology company. So it was really exciting hearing that news.”

The design competition will take place from Friday, Jan.29th to Saturday, Jan. 30th. The final phase of the Hyperloop competition will be held in the summer of 2016.

Photo via SpaceX