SpaceX Reveals Next Move for Hyperloop Plan

Elon Musk envisions a high-speed transportation system of the future.

While SpaceX isn't affiliated with any of the companies that have announced plans to bring Musk's vision for high-speed travel on the ground to life, the Hawthorne, California, based space travel company said it was launching a competition to help accelerate the process.

What SpaceX hopes to find are new ideas for human scale pods. Teams will have the opportunity to try out their pods on a one-mile test track next summer, according to a SpaceX website announcing the initiative. The knowledge gleaned from the testing will be open sourced.

"While we are not developing a commercial Hyperloop ourselves, we are interested in helping to accelerate development of a functional Hyperloop prototype," the SpaceX website said.

Musk first unveiled his futuristic idea in 2013, calling it "a cross between a Concord, a rail gun and an air hockey table."

The Hyperloop could carry travelers from Los Angeles to San Francisco in half an hour, easily beating out a costly high-speed rail project, according to Musk's concept.

The Hyperloop is a large pneumatic tube, similar to the system used by some hospitals to transport documents, samples and medications in a more efficient manner. New York City also relied on a network of pneumatic tubes to transport mail during the first half of the 20th century.

For human travel, Musk plans to mount a large fan to the front of a pod, which would re-direct high pressure to the rear of the capsule, facilitating even higher speeds.