- Elon Musk’s Hyperloop concept had two successes at the Hyperloop Pod Competition Design Weekend at Texas A&M University last weekend — a winning design for the first test pod and an endorsement from Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx.
- Foxx, who appeared at the conference, said the U.S. should "lean in" to the Hyperloop concept and that the Department of Transportation will consider funding Hyperloop research, according to Motherboard. Foxx said the DOT’s University Transportation Center Program is also funding projects related to self-driving cars and other transportation research.
- A team from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology won for overall best pod design and will now build it for summer testing on the Hyperloop track under construction near the SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, CA, according to The Verge. The contest also recognized winners in several categories of system design, and at least 22 teams will be able to test their pods on the SpaceX track as well.
The event aimed to generate excitement about Hyperloop technology, but Elon Musk probably won in that category when he made an appearance at the end of the competition. Musk told the crowd that although he is committed to seeing the Hyperloop become a reality — and despite getting the Hyperloop ball rolling with a 2013 white paper on its possibilities — he hasn’t endorsed any particular company yet.
Last week, SpaceX announced that it hired worldwide construction firm AECOM to build the one-mile Hyperloop test track. An AECOM spokesperson said the vacuum-sealed track will include a six-foot diameter steel tube with a non-magnetic sub-track.
AECOM has vast experience with the construction of transportation systems — so much, in fact, that it is also in talks with another Hyperloop company, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, to build their five-mile test track.