And met with Elon Musk to celebrate.
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The SpaceX Hyperloop Pod competition has a winner: 30 students representing the Technical University of Munich (TUM) from Germany, who call themselves WARR Hyperloop, the German acronym for the school's Scientific Workgroup for Rocketry and Space Flight. WARR was able to build a prototype pod that could reach 201 miles per hour (324 kilometers per hour).
WARR beat out two other competitors at SpaceX's headquarters in the Los Angeles-area finale. Each team had to build a prototype pod that could travel down a .75-mile (1.2-kilometer) vacuum tube. The team that could hit the highest maximum speed would win. Elon Musk, founder of SpaceX and one of the major proponents of hyperloop technology, met with WARR after their victory.
Weighing only 176 pounds, the team pointed to its 50kW electric motor as a crucial cause of their success."By using an electric motor and therefore being independent from the SpaceX accelerator vehicle used by most competitors to gain speed," WARR says in a press release, "the team gave themselves an advantage over the other teams."
Hyperloop technology has slowly been building over the years and this isn't the first time a test run has hit around 200 MPH. But the question of implementation lies behind every competition and milestone. Musk recently announced he had received "verbal approval" for building a Hyperloop on the American east coast, but after initial curiosity over what this meant there has been no follow up. Competitions like this show that the drive to make this technology is abundant, the drive to pay someone to build it, with costs estimated between $84 million and $121 million per mile, might be less so.