Elon Musk, founder of Tesla and the aerospace company SpaceX, launched the "Hyperloop Pod Competition" in 2015. The Hyperloop is the concept of a high-speed train, which moves in a tube with a partial vacuum, nearing the speed of sound at 1.200km/h.
Student teams from all over the world have been invited to submit their concepts for the so called Pod - a passenger cabin capsule. 30 teams have been picked to create a prototype and compete against each other, one of them being the WARR Hyperloop Team of the Technical University in Munich (TUM).
The first contest took place in January 2017 at Los Angeles. Only 3 of the teams were finally allowed to test their capsule in the evacuated tube that was especially constructed for that purpose. The TUM team won the prize for the fastest pod in that competition, whereas the prize for the best technical overall concept went to the University of Delft (The Netherlands). "An impressive success for the students that have developed and built the pod in only one and a half years", said TUM president Prof. Wolfgang Herrmann and pointed out that in doing so, they have lead German engineering to victory in a tough international competition.
On August 27th 2017, the WARR team went on to win the second competition as well. In using an electric motor for acceleration they managed to make the capsule achieve 324km/h in the 1.25 km long test tube, leaving the other competitors far behind.
Industry and commerce already shows an interest in the Hyperloop and its technology - Lufthansa being one of them - and Airbus is one of the sponsors of the TUM team.