Spacex and Elon Musk building Hyperloop test track and hosting prototype pod competition

Elon Musk and Spacex announced plans for building a test track in southern California and a competition for prototype pods.

Several companies announced plans for pilot projects in California, Texas and other locations, but Musk and his companies, which include privately owned Space Exploration Technologies, or SpaceX, and Tesla Motors Inc electric car company, were not involved.

SpaceX said it would build a mile-long test track near its Hawthorne, Calif., headquarters and host a competition for student and independent engineering teams to design subscale transport pods.

Selected teams would then be invited to test their pods on the SpaceX Hyperloop track in June 2016.

Interested participants have until Sept. 15 to submit an application. Details of the competition, including prizes, will be released on Aug. 15, SpaceX said.

Elon expects a 400-mile (644 km) Hyperloop system connecting Los Angeles to San Francisco would take seven to 10 years to build and cost less than $6 billion. It would cut a 5-1/2 hour drive down to about 30 minutes.

Spacex has a 5 page guidelines document for the hyperloop pod competition

SpaceX will publicly release a package which includes:
1. Requirements for Preliminary Design Briefing contents
2. Requirements for Final Design Package contents
3. Full Design Weekend logistics
4. Full Competition Weekend rules
5. Full criteria and performance metrics for Competition Weekend judging
6. Complete tube specifications
7. Competition Entry Agreement to be signed by all entrants
8. Intellectual Property Policy

The Intent to Compete is an online form which can be found at The online
form includes:
* University/entity name and a contact name and email
* Intent to either build a pod for competition weekend or to only present a design (pod, subsystem or safety feature) at the design weekend
* Acknowledgement that entrant is aware that, in order to enter the competition, he or she will have to sign a subsequently released Entrant Agreement.

The online form must be submitted by 5:00pm PDT on September 15, 2015. Within two weeks of
submission, a follow-up email will be sent to each entrant requesting additional information.