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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.