Elon Musk has promised to reveal preliminary plans for a super-fast "Hyperloop" transporter on August 12th — but don't expect him to actually build it. In a Tesla earnings call yesterday, Musk said that he was too busy with existing ventures to work on a Hyperloop in the near future. "I think I kind of shot myself in the foot by ever mentioning the Hyperloop, because I'm too strung out," he said. "Obviously I have to focus on core Tesla business and on SpaceX business, and that's more than enough. But I did commit to publishing a design, and [I will] provide quite a detailed design, I think, on Monday." After that, he will "invite critical feedback and see if people can find ways to improve it, and then it can just be up there as kind of an open source design, maybe you all can keep improving."
That means that the super-fast Hyperloop — meant to take passengers from LA to San Francisco in 30 minutes and run on solar power — could be left adrift. "I don't have any plans to execute it," said Musk, "because I have to remain focused on SpaceX and Tesla." But if all else fails, he could step in. "If nothing happens for a few years with that, maybe it could make sense to make the Hyperloop happen with Tesla involvement. But it is extremely speculative." Musk was specifically responding to a question about whether Tesla shareholders could see benefits from the Hyperloop, so he wouldn't want to promise anything he wasn't absolutely certain to deliver. However, we should probably still tamp down our expectations in preparation for Monday.