A team of engineering students from the Technical University of Munich won the third SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition on Sunday. Teams were tasked with building a prototype transport pod that would run on a Hyperloop test track at SpaceX headquarters.
Teams were told that the competition would be decided based on two criteria: The pod must be self-propelled, and the fastest pod wins. Students from the United States, Europe and Japan entered the competition.
The pod built by the Munich team, WARR Hyperloop, reached a top speed of 290 mph, according to the team’s website. The team had taken home the top prize at each of SpaceX’s previous Hyperloop competitions. This year’s winning team had 45 members from 16 countries and seven disciplines.
Teams were required to advance through two initial rounds based on the quality of the design schematics before the three finalists were invited to SpaceX’s Hawthorne, Calif., headquarters to run their pods through the test track. Twenty teams from 29 universities competed in the challenge.
Although SpaceX and Hyperloop are not officially affiliated, both companies trace their origins to the mind of Elon Musk, who wrote the initial white paper about the Hyperloop concept. Forbes reported that although the Hyperloop concept has Musk’s fingerprints all over it, he stepped away from building out the company so he could focus on managing SpaceX and Tesla.