Elon Musk's Hyperloop contest is happening this weekend - here's a look at all the competing pods


Elon Musk Hyperloop Portrait Illustration

Mike Nudelman/Business Insider

Teams participating in Elon Musk's Hyperloop competition will get a chance to test out their futuristic pods this weekend. 

In June 2015, SpaceX announced an open competition for university students and engineering teams to design and actually build a Hyperloop pod that will travel through a vacuum tube.

In 2013, Musk released a 57-page white paper detailing his plan for the Hyperloop, a futuristic transit system that could propel people in pods at speeds topping 700 mph. Musk isn't planning to pursue the Hyperloop commercially, but he is encouraging others to take up the challenge through the SpaceX competition.


The competition itself has actually been running for quite some time. After SpaceX announced the competition in June 2015, more than 1,200 teams applied for entry. However, SpaceX engineers, who are serving as judges for the contest, narrowed down the number of participating teams to 30 by February 2016. 

hyperloop tunnel


The SpaceX Hyperloop tunnel.

This weekend, though, will mark the first time anyone gets to see the Hyperloop pods in action. The 30 teams that advanced from the design phase of the competition will have the opportunity to run their pods on the SpaceX test track in Hawthorne, California. The pods will be subject to a variety of tests, like a structural test and vacuum chamber test, and those that are eligible will get to compete in the final phase of the competition, which is slated to take place this summer. 


Not every team that was chosen to advance will participate in the competition this weekend. The University of Toronto dropped out and is building a pod independent of the SpaceX competition. Drexel University will show off their pod, but won't participate in the pod tests. In total, 26 of the 30 teams will be participating. 

Scroll down for a closer look at the competition and their pod designs: