Last month, a team from MIT won the first stage of the SpaceX’s Hyperloop Pod Competition. The team, along with 9 other contenders, will now have to complete the second part of the competition by building a human-scale prototype this summer at the SpaceX headquarters.
According to Space.com, "Elon Musk — the CEO of private spaceflight company SpaceX and electric-car company Tesla Motors — announced his vision for the Hyperloop in a 2013 white paper. The system would use pods, traveling in tubes in a near-vacuum, to move people between big cities that are no more than 900 miles (1,500 kilometers) apart, such as San Francisco and Los Angeles.
The pods would levitate above the ground. They would therefore encounter very little friction, and could zoom along at nearly the speed of sound (about 767 mph, or 1,234 km/h, at sea level), according to Musk.
Musk envisioned using a cushion of air to achieve levitation, but the MIT team decided to go with magnets above a conducting plate. The aluminum test track that SpaceX is already building near its headquarters will serve as this conducting plate, MIT team members said."