SpaceX's Hyperloop competition sees three companies run their pods


Spokeswoman Marleen van de Kerkhof said the team had not been out to win the prize for the fastest journey.

The results were impressive. Delft University of Technology from the Netherlands was the overall victor with the highest score in the competition, and the Technical University of Munich won the award for fastest speed achieved in the Hyperloop tube.

The idea for Hyperloop dates back to 2013, when Tesla CEO Elon Musk realized that overground speeds had remained largely constant in recent years. And as a significant number of teams have made it through the first round and are prepared to compete outside SpaceX's headquarters, Business Insider have a look at all the teams and their prototype pods.

MIT and Delft University were the teams to beat going into the competition.

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In the end, only three of the 30 teams in the competition were able to actually launch their pods on the test track, which highlights the extreme difficulty of the technical and engineering challenges the student teams faced as they attempted to design and build pods for an entirely new mode of transportation. And American university MIT won on safety and reliability. The award for best performance and operations, meanwhile, went to the University of Maryland. This futuristic system involves pods, which would float with the help of magnetic levitation. The teams also check structural integrity, sensor drift, and software integration checks. But its most important feature is the near-total vacuum inside, which, by taking air resistance out of the equation, makes it possible to shoot magnetically-levitated pods through at very high speeds.

The track is 4,150ft long, and the tube has an outer diameter of six foot.

"Ultimately, they are testing a scaled version of the final Hyperloop design", said John Federspiel, lead mechanical engineer at SpaceX.