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Summary:

Musk, who is the CEO of Tesla and founder of SpaceX, has never been one to let the modern world hold him back. He has described his hyperloop system as a cross between a railgun, air hockey table and Concorde.

Elon Musk

For a year now, Tesla CEO and SpaceX founder Elon Musk has been dropping hints about a new mode of transit that could take a rider between San Francisco and Los Angeles in less than half an hour. Today, he tweeted that he will reveal the first design for the system August 12.

It’s called the Hyperloop, and Musk considers it the fifth mode of transportation — up there with planes, cars, boats and trains. At the D11 conference in May, he described the Hyperloop as a “cross between a Concorde, a railgun and an air hockey table.”

“This system I have in mind, how would you like something that can never crash, is immune to weather, it goes three or four times faster than the bullet train,” Musk told PandoDaily last year. “It goes an average speed of twice what an aircraft would do.”

He also floated the idea of using solar panels, which would produce more energy than the Hyperloop would consume. Solar energy would power the system 24 hours a day without a need for batteries. He said the system was prompted by the planned California high speed rail, which “has the dubious distinction of being the slowest train and the most expensive per mile.”

Gizmag published a nice breakdown last month of how the Hyperloop might work. Musk has answered a few questions publicly via his Twitter account since the announcement this morning, but we’ll have to wait out the month for more substantial information.

  1. Gnyek Morrish Monday, July 15, 2013

    “Solar energy would power the system 24 hours a day without a need for batteries.” You guys are seriously retarded for listening to Elon Musk. He is nothing but a snake oil salesman trying to rip off the state by putting further doubt towards the high speed rail, so that that money invested will be given over to him once the project gets scraped.

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    1. “He is nothing but a snake oil salesman trying to rip off the state”

      Never mind that his track record is exactly the opposite of what you suggest.

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    2. Or you could wait until August 12th to hear his proposal. He has succeeded many times in business so far with concepts many others have failed to succeed at.

      I believe he might know what he’s talking about.

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  2. Whether Musk is full of hype is not really the issue. Energy and mass transport is the issue. Gov. Moonbeam is going to spend $100B to build a 19th century railroad from SF to LA. Sure it will be electrified but it is still hundreds of tons of steel on steel rails to move a few thousand pounds of people from point A to point B. IT MAKES NO SENSE!

    If Musk can pull this off, he desires all the hyperbole that he is receiving.

    This has been proposed before and there are even cool pictures here:
    google et3 — Evacuated Tube Transport Technologies

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  3. Mats Svensson Monday, July 15, 2013

    “Solar energy would power the system 24 hours a day without a need for batteries.”

    And that’s just the first generation!
    I bet they can get that up to 48 hours a day in version 2.0

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    1. flywheels

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  4. Has he even built a proof of concept and transported anything alive or otherwise from any point A to point B? I don’t doubt that he thinks he can do this, maybe this would better make a good Popular Science article about efficient mass transportation visions for the future. August will likely come and go without much ado…. ;-)

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