MIT Wins SpaceX Hyperloop Design Competition

SpaceX Hyperloop Design Weekend ended with both a surprise Q&A by Elon Musk and a big win for MIT.


SpaceX Hyperloop Design Weekend closed out today with some clear winners. The massive race to create a pod that will zoom you from point A to point B through a tube in mere minutes instead of hours took place at Texas A&M University. About 1,000 mostly college students in 125 teams competed for the win, but the Massachusetts Institute of Technology got the gold.

SpaceX’s CEO Elon Musk came up with the idea for a Hyperloop, but didn’t have the time to craft one. So, in 2013, he handed off the project to the public and allowed all of us to get to work on it.

MIT’s team consisted of an advisory board of professors and industry leaders who aided 25 students with focuses in the areas of aeronautics, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, and business management. After MIT came Delft University of Technology from the Netherlands, University of Wisconsin — Madison, Virginia Tech, and University of California — Irvine. The three competition categories were: design and build, design only, and subsystems.

MIT's hyperloop design philosophy.

And if you think the hyperloop is just a flight of fancy, be assured, it is not. The competition’s keynote speaker, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx (who happened to visit the MIT booth) said earlier today that the Hyperloop “may be a candidate for research funding from his department.”

MIT Hyperloop's booth.


The guy is fully on board with this type of future transportation and others that would have been pure sci-fi decades ago, including self-driving cars (also crafted by Musk’s company Tesla).

The excitement escalated when, at the end of the day, Musk showed up for a surprise Q&A session where he talked about everything from jets to Mars. The crowd lost it with fanboy/girl tweets and general glee. He even agreed to sign awards. Now, that’s a team player.