Delft University Wins SpaceX Hyperloop Competition

The weekend competition shows that building a hyperloop is hard, but not impossible.

Getty Images

Of the 30 teams competing in the SpaceX Hyperloop Competition "Weekend I" this past weekend, only three got far enough to load their pods onto the test track.

Phase two of the three-part competition took place last Saturday and Sunday on SpaceX's campus in Hawthorne, California. The challenge is targeted towards colleges and universities to encourage innovation and accelerate the development of this revolutionary transportation method.

The 30 teams invited from the Design Phase round in 2016 brought their pods to the 1.25-kilometer test track outside of SpaceX's headquarters. However, only three pods passed the series of inspections that checked for integrity and safety, and were permitted to enter the Hyperloop tube for timed trials that were live-streamed on SpaceX's Web site on Sunday.

Delft University's pod achieved the highest overall score in the weekend competition, and the Netherlands-based team won first place. The fastest award went to Technical University of Munich, Germany. Their pod achieved a high speed of 94 km/hour in the tube. Although it earned first place in the 2016 design challenge, Massachusetts Institute of Technology's team took third place in the second round of the competition, which was judged by SpaceX engineers. The Hyperloop awards presented to the teams were 3-D printed and signed by Elon Musk.

The final phase of the competition is scheduled for Summer 2017, but a specific date has not been decided. Dubbed "Competition Weekend II," teams participating in the final round will be judged on their pod's loading, launch, and unload sequence. Although only three teams completed the trial runs this weekend, the competition's final stage is open to all teams that participated.