SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition is this weekend

30 teams from around the world will put their designs to the test.

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As several companies devote their efforts to creating high-speed transit on the ground, the SpaceX approach to the hyperloop is an interesting one. Elon Musk's other company's focus is not on building its own high-speed, low-pressure tube transit system, but rather accommodating others to develop their own ideas. In that spirit, SpaceX is hosting teams from around the world for its Hyperloop Pod Competition this weekend. The knowledge SpaceX gains from this endeavor, it says, will remain open-source.

SpaceX announced the competition the summer of 2015, and received more than 1,200 applications. 30 of those teams, most of them based at universities, have converged upon the SpaceX campus in Hawthorne, California to put their designs to the test.

At the competition, the working pod prototypes will be judged on their performance in a variety of tests. SpaceX has built a mile-long vacuum tube test track big enough to accommodate the human-scale pods.

Most of the teams come from a university's engineering department. The OpenLoop team is a consortium of a number of schools, including the University of Michigan, Northwestern, Princeton, Cornell, Harvey Mudd, and Memorial University. Interestingly, a single team, rLoop, has no school affiliation, and includes 100 members from 14 countries. Also very impressive is Team Hyperlift, a group of students from St. John's High School in Houston, Texas.

This isn't the only weekend SpaceX is inviting hyperloop teams to its new test track. Because of the interest in the competition, SpaceX is hosting a second Hyperloop Pod Competition this summer. The focus of that contest will be singularly about maximum speed. That one should be interesting as well.

The gallery above shows some of the pod designs that are competing in California right now. If you're interested in a complete rundown of the various teams participating in this weekend's competition, Business Insider's list is brimming with details.

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