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A Pod That Travels at a Record 284 mph Won the Third SpaceX Hyperloop Competition

With their experimental capsule reaching a peak speed of 284 mph (457 kph), a team of engineering students from the Technical University of Munich won their third SpaceX Hyperloop competition.

The WARR Hyperloop team’s self-propelled capsule was one of three to shoot down the 0.75-mile tube in Hawthorne, Calif. Teams from Delft University in the Netherlands and EPF Loop of Switzerland also competed, only reaching speeds of 88 mph and 55 mph, respectively.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk launched the challenge in hopes of propelling his hyperloop concept into reality. The SpaceX competition is not affiliated with any of the commercial hyperloop projects starting around the world.

Musk’s idea is for people to travel in pods shooting through vacuum-sealed tubes to minimize friction and maximize speed. Richard Branson has said he expects humans to travel by hyperloop pod within two to three years.

The 30-strong Scientific Workgroup for Rocketry and Spaceflight, or WARR team, from Munich set a new record with its 284 mph run. “We started at zero with the technology,” member Manfred Schwarz said last year. “It was stressful with the deadline pressure but simultaneously our biggest advantage.”