After dropping the idea for the Hyperloop, leaving the development to others, then getting back into the game, Elon Musk is showing a lot more interest in it. He recently held a student competition at his SpaceX headquarters, helping one team hit 201MPH on the 0.77 mile-long track. Now, Telsa itself beat that record with the "pusher pod" vehicle, which hit a new mark of 355 km/h (220MPH), according to an Instagram from Musk.
We took the SpaceX/Tesla Hyperloop pusher pod for a spin by itself a few days ago to see what it could do when not pushing student pods (some need a push to get going, e.g. passive maglev). Got up to 355 km/h (220 mph) before things started 🔥. Kind of like racing with a tugboat. Maybe able get past 500 km/h (about half speed of sound) next month with a few tweaks or maybe tiny pieces ...
Musk said that things started to get 🔥 after that (yes, he used the fire emoji), "kind of like racing with a tugboat." However, the team will try again next month with "a few tweaks or maybe tiny pieces," and Musk thinks that 310MPH should be doable. During the student competition, Musk mused that a future team should easily be able to hit 500 to 600MPH on the same track.
Those sound like big boasts, but Musk isn't one for hyperbole, and often tries to tamp down expectations instead. For instance, he has predicted that SpaceX Falcon landing tests will end badly, and believes that the first Falcon Heavy to launch probably won't make it to orbit. Anyway, with Hyperloop now part of his purview along with Tesla and SpaceX, expect Musk's companies to dominate the tech news cycle even more than usual.