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Hyperloop States

More than 120 teams including seven from Texas A&M University will take part in the SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition Design Weekend on Friday and Saturday (Jan. 29 and 30) on the campus of Texas A&M.

More than 1,000 students representing more than 100 universities and three high schools will present their Hyperloop Pod design concepts to judges, vying for a chance to build and test their design prototype.

The Hyperloop is a high-speed ground transport concept that was first proposed by SpaceX and Tesla Motors co-founder Elon Musk in 2013. With the Hyperloop, passengers could travel from Los Angeles to San Francisco in under 30 minutes, radically transforming the speed and safety of passenger mass transit.

The Design Weekend teams were selected by SpaceX from hundreds of entries to present their concepts to a panel of SpaceX, Tesla and university judges for a chance to build and test their design prototype. The final phase of the Hyperloop competition will be held in the summer of 2016.

“I’m nervous,” said Nick Hemstreet, a computer engineering major and part of Texas A&M’s HyperWhoop team. “I don’t like waiting and now that we’ve submitted it I just want to know. But I’m mostly excited about talking to industry people about how to improve our design and walking around and talking to other teams about what they’ve done. We really haven’t gotten much public feedback yet, so finally letting everyone see what we’ve been working on is going to be great.”

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx will discuss the future of transportation during a private event for student teams held during the weekend.

In conjunction with the competition, Texas A&M will also host a Futuristic Transportation display and demo for the students in the Hall of Champions at Kyle Field with a Hendo Hoverboard, Oculus Rift technology and an F22 cockpit.

“I’m excited to see what everyone else does,” said Katie Schneider, an aerospace engineering major and member of team HyperWhoop. “The fact that this is going to have stuff for the public, to catch people’s attention, I think that’s going to be awesome.”