Tesla’s Elon Musk wants student ‘pod racers’ for his hyperloop test track

Elon Musk Hyperloop
When billionaire Elon Musk isn’t spearheading the electric car revolution with Tesla motors or shooting commercial rockets into space with SpaceX, he tends to focus on small, less demanding side projects like his 4,000 mile-per-hour “hyperloop” high-speed rail system.

On a recent twitter post, Musk revealed that a test track for the system will be built, probably in Texas, and will be used to test prototypes developed by companies and students. The hyperloop concept consists of miles-long tubes in which passenger-carrying pods launch through from one destination to the other. To put things in perspective, we’re talking about travel time between LA and New York in less than an hour.

Elon Musk Hyperloop

Musk also tweeted out that he’s mulling over a “pod racing” contest, similar to Formula SAE, where students are given the task to build and design an open wheel autocross vehicle, which then compete against each other over several different events.

The “pod racing” event would presumably work in a similar fashion, with active college students building a hyperloop pod from scratch and then having it evaluated on a number of criteria (speed, capacity, stability, etc.). It’s also a great way for Musk to outsource unique and valid designs for his transport project.

Elon was recently speaking at the Texas Transportation Forum in Austin saying that the state was a leading candidate for the hyperloop test track, though not stating which towns in particular seem ideal (we think the hyperloop is more of a Shelbyville idea). We’ll can keep an eye out on his very active twitter feed for further info, where information is sure to be revealed first. In the meantime, we’ll have videos of exploding rockets bouncing of barges to keep up us entertained.


Driving Daimler’s 40-ton eCascadia big rig isn’t just fun, it’s electrifying

Daimler Trucks brought its all-electric eCascadia semi-truck to the 2019 CES, and invited us to take the wheel. What does it feel like to drive one? Simply electrifying, of course.

Tesla cuts workforce by 7 percent, ends referral program to trim costs

Tesla has announced plans to trim its workforce by seven percent, and it will end the referral program that rewards customers who help it sell cars. These measures are ways to cut costs and boost profits.
Product Review

LG Gram 14 proves 2-in-1 laptops don’t need to sacrifice battery for light weight

The LG Gram 14 2-in-1 aims to be very light for a laptop that converts to a tablet. And it is. But it doesn’t skimp on the battery, and so it lasts a very long time on a charge.

Peloton’s tech lets truckers play follow the leader to boost fuel economy

Peloton Technology can help semi trucks save fuel by running close together on the highway. Using short-range wireless communications, the trucks get a kind of super cruise control.
Home Theater

Spotify adds simplified Car View mode for Android users

What was once just a test is now a reality: Spotify is rolling out a new, simplified in-car user interface for all Android users called Car View, which automatically engages when the app detects a car Bluetooth connection.

Boutique carmaker Karma Automotive, legendary design firm Pininfarina team up

Karma Automotive is partnering with legendary Italian design firm Pininfarina on future luxury cars. The first product of that partnership will appear later this year, Karma said, without offering other details.

Lyft and Aptiv’s self-driving car program has come a long way (but not far enough)

Many companies talk about self-driving cars, but Lyft and Aptiv are already using a fleet of them to transport paying customers in Las Vegas. Hop in for a close look at the tech of autonomous cars, and the challenges they face.

Sibling rivalry: 2019 BMW Z4 takes on the 2020 Toyota Supra

BMW and Toyota forged an unlikely partnership when they set out to build a sports car platform together. Here, we examine the similarities and differences between the 2019 Z4 and the 2020 Supra.

Worried about commuting in winter weather? Nissan has the answer

The Nissan Altima midsize sedan is now available with all-wheel drive. To advertise that fact, Nissan's Canadian division slapped some tank-like tracks on an Altima to create a one-off show car.
Emerging Tech

Too buzzed to drive? Don’t worry — this autonomous car-bar will drive to you

It might just be the best or worst idea that we've ever heard: A self-driving robot bartender you can summon with an app, which promises to mix you the perfect drink wherever you happen to be.

Michigan OKs digital license plates with Rplate’s connected car platform

The state of Michigan approved the use of digital license plates on motor vehicles registered in the state. Reviver Auto, the manufacturer of the Rplate connected car platform, worked with Michigan's Department of State to pass the bill.

This Chevy Silverado pickup truck is made from more than 300,000 Lego bricks

To promote The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part, Lego and Chevrolet teamed up on a life-size replica of the automaker's Silverado pickup truck made from more than 300,000 plastic bricks.

Prices for using Tesla Supercharging just skyrocketed

Tesla is updating their Supercharging pricing based on local electricity rates and customer demand, which has lead to an increase in charging costs by as much as 33 percent in some regions.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: camera with A.I. director, robot arm assistant

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!