Elon Musk's vision for an entirely new form of transportation will be revealed to the world on August 12th. The founder of SpaceX and Tesla Motors tweeted this morning that he would "publish Hyperloop alpha design by Aug 12," and added that "critical feedback for improvements would be much appreciated." Musk has previously revealed just a few tantalizing details for the Hyperloop, which he's described as a "fifth form" of transportation — the first four being planes, trains, automobiles and boats.
Will publish Hyperloop alpha design by Aug 12. Critical feedback for improvements would be much appreciated.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 15, 2013
What Musk has said so far is that the Hyperloop would be a "a cross between a Concorde, a rail gun, and an air hockey table," and would be able to deliver people the 380 miles between Los Angeles and San Francisco in just 30 minutes, dramatically outpacing California's bullet train project, which would make the same trip in just under three hours. Musk has publicly bashed California's bullet train plans as inefficient, and maintains that the Hyperloop would be a better project for the state to undertake. He first brought up the idea for the Hyperloop just about a year ago at a PandoDaily fireside chat and said that he would provide further details on June 20th this year, but it looks as though we'll all have to wait until August to learn more about how his proposed system would function.
Update: Musk has tweeted a few more hints about the Hyperloop in response to followers' questions, though his answers are mostly about the business side of the proposed transport system, rather than the technical side of its operations. In terms of engineering, Musk did say he would design the Hyperloop with California's earthquake risks in mind.
@schadlu I really hate patents unless critical to company survival. Will publish Hyperloop as open source.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 15, 2013
@Richie_Rich_120 yes, that is a critical design driver— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 15, 2013
@ehreng happy to work with the right partners. Must truly share philosophical goal of breakthrough tech done fast & w/o wasting money on BS— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 15, 2013
Thanks to Ian Dees.