WEST LAFAYETTE - Students from Purdue University are in California this weekend for the second SpaceX Hyperloop competition. The Purdue Hyperloop team is partnering with the team from Universitat Politecnica de Valencia in Spain to achieve the competition's main objective: maximum speed.

The teams will use Purdue's Hyperloop pod, which received an award for performance and operations in the first Hyperloop competition in January. At that event, the Purdue team also ranked seventh in design and construction. The Valencia team received the "Top Design Concept" award in a 2016 Hyperloop competition.

To achieve the goal of this weekend's competition, Purdue Hyperloop President Aaron Pikus, a master's degree student in aerospace engineering at Purdue, says the teams decided to make the pod autonomous.

"Previously, we had no on-board propulsion," said Pikus. "So, we were fully dependent on the Space X-provided propulsion that would push us down the test track." Pikus says the provided propulsion led the fastest team in January to reach only 65 miles per hour. He says the Purdue and Valencia teams have installed a new battery-powered motor system that could reach up to 150 mph.

The Purdue/Valencia team is one of 25 taking part in the Hyperloop competition, which runs through Sunday. You can learn more by clicking here.