Tech

Elon Musk wants you to design his Hyperloop pod

Do you want to build the future?

Not in a patronising, "Think of the children" manner, but by creating something that will have a lasting legacy for future generations?

That's what Elon Musk and his SpaceX division are offering you. They've set up a competition to design the 'pod' of the Hyperloop transit line - an advanced transport system described by Musk as "a cross between a Concorde and a railgun and an air hockey table" that could reach speeds of over 760 miles per hour.

While neither Musk nor SpaceX are intimately involved in building the first Hyperloop line, hoped to be completed between Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area, they're keen to pull investors and creative minds into making the project a reality. SpaceX will be building a one-mile test track adjacent to its Hawthorne, California headquarters, allowing teams from international universities and research groups to test their human-scale pods during a competition weekend at the track, currently targeted for June 2016. Some of the most successful designs could then be purchased for use in the finished product.

The construction of Hyperloop is currently being handled in a rather roundabout manner. Despite being the brain child of Musk, he's far too busy with SpaceX and its dreams of a Mars mission, so he's handed control of the project to the Hyperloop Transport Technologies group. Over 100 engineers are currently working on the project via the JumpStartFund crowd collaboration service, which allows ideas to be shared, discussed and shot down by specialists.

This new competition will see entrants design and test out a range of devices for the Hyperloop system, from individual components, safety systems to complete pod designs. No humans will be involved in the tests, but it's hoped that's what is learnt and demonstrated through the competition will help ensure the transit line becomes a reality.

To get more details on the competition (the deadline for which is 15 September) or to enter, head here.

(Images: Hyperloop)

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