WARR Hyperloop has won the SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition yet again. On Sunday, the engineering team from the Technical University of Munich won the competition for the third time. In addition, they also set the speed record this year with a top speed of more than 290 miles per hour with their self-propelled pod.
WARR Hyperloop expressed their excitement over the win on Twitter saying, “We’re excited to announce that our team WARR Hyperloop is the winner of the 2018 SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition!!!!!”
“We managed to go almost 50% faster than last year, reaching a final speed of 467 km/h (290 mph)!”
WARR Hyperloop also won the competition in August of 2017 and this year their self-propelled pod went 50% faster than their pod from last year.
The engineering students have made major progress from their first competition appearance in January of 2017 where their pod only traveled at a speed of 58 miles per hour. Now their self-propelling pod has reached over 290 miles per hour and they hope continues to improve speed.
SpaceX founder Elon Musk hosted this year’s competition, as he has in previous years. Additionally, another one of his companies, The Boring Co., also provided support in this year’s competition.
The SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition has evolved since its beginning and, thanks to engineers, there are significant advancements in hyperloop technologies. In the first two competitions, engineers had the option of using a ‘pusher’ to help the pod accelerate down the track. The ‘pusher’ was a vehicle made by SpaceX but was not an option in this year’s competition. Instead, student engineers were to make their pods self-propelling.
In addition to removing the support of a ‘pusher’, SpaceX also came up with a sub-competition. It’s goal was to levitate the pod in the air while maintaining alignment on the test track for a specific amount of time.
SpaceX welcomed 40 teams from 20 different countries to compete in the Hyperloop Pod Competition but only three teams were chosen to compete in the finals. The three teams chosen were: WARR Hyperloop from Munich, Delft University from the Netherlands, and EPFLoop of Switzerland.
During the competition, the three student teams were required to prove the safety of their pod and its ability to perform and pass key tests. The pod had to undergo a test through a 26-foot-long vacuum chamber and travel along a 150-foot-long test track.
While SpaceX isn’t directly associated with hyperloop technologies, Elon Musk is still interested in the progress in the field. He enjoys, and wants to support, the advancements of systems that reduce pressure tubes and that could theoretically transport people and packages long distances at high speeds. In 2013, Elon Musk wrote a nearly 60-page book that and proposed the idea.