Hyperloop Pod Racers Get Set for SpaceX Competition

A Hyperloop trip from Los Angeles to San Francisco would take 30 minutes

Hyperloop Travel
AP

Pods go flying at the speed of sound. It seems like a scene from Star Wars, but it's really happening.

The first Hyperloop pod race is set for Saturday and Sunday at the SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne.

The competition is part of an ongoing design challenge to create the best vehicle for the Hyperloop, a revolutionary transportation system that would propel riders through a tube at speeds of 800 mph.

SpaceX founder Elon Musk introduced the Hyperloop concept in 2013 as a response to the California High-Speed Rail, which he criticized for its low speed and high cost. A Hyperloop trip from Los Angeles to San Francisco would take 30 minutes, whereas the rail would take two hours.

SpaceX isn't developing a commercial Hyperloop, but the company intends to aid prototype development by hosting open competitions. This weekend's race features entrants from universities and independent teams.

A second competition weekend is slated for summer, and it will be judged on only one criterion: top speed.

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