Hyperloop technology just broke another record.
SpaceX hosted its third Hyperloop Pod Competition on Sunday, and the fastest looping team broke the 240 mph world record set by Richard Branson’s Virgin Hyperloop One last year.
The winning team — a group of students from the Technical University of Munich — got its pod to travel at 284 mph.
“We’re excited to announce that our team WARR Hyperloop is the winner of the 2018 SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition!!!!!” the team wrote on its website after the competition. “We’d like to sincerely thank all our sponsors! This journey wouldn’t have been possible without you!”
The team said its pod travelled almost 50 percent faster than last year, and its model went more than three times faster than the second place team this year.
Elon Musk, the hyperloop tsar himself, even reportedly attended the competition held at SpaceX’s 0.8-mile test track in Hawthorne, Calif. (a Los Angeles suburb) with his five children and Canadian musician Grimes, his current girlfriend.
Although his presence was not expected, it’s not surprising that he would attend.
This all fits his self-proclaimed useful narcissism brand very well, since the competition (which stems from his 2013 white paper on this new form of transportation) celebrates Musk while still working to help decrease long distance travel times.
If I am a narcissist (which might be true), at least I am a useful one
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 8, 2018
His goal was to make the travel time between San Francisco and Los Angeles a measly 30 minutes — it currently takes about 90 minutes by plane, and this new hyperloop record would make the commute just over 80 minutes.
The hyperloop pods must travel at more than 750 mph to achieve Musk’s half hour California dream, which as of right now probably remains many pod generations away. So while we’re about 480 mph off, students are leading with speed to reach that goal.