« Newspaper barred from printing violent photos; president sees "little bird" | Main | Rwanda Terror Alert: "I wish I had a clue!" »

08/12/2013

Hyperloop, Elon Musk's ultra-rapid, hypothetical transit system, to be revealed today

2013-06-21T055402Z_1580360148_GM1E96L129S01_RTRMADP_3_TESLA-SWAP
Elon Musk, an entrepreneur and billionaire, said he would release his designs for a super-high-speed transit system on Monday, August 12. (REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson)

 

The tech world is in a tizzy today because today is Hyperloop day. Happy Hyperloop day!

What is hyperloop? Well, we don't really know yet. But we know its tizzy-worthy. 

Why is it tizzy-worthy? Because Hyperloop is an Elon Musk idea.

Who is Elon Musk? Maybe you already know this one. Elon Musk is the Tesla Motors (electric cars) guy, and the PayPal guy, and the SpaceX guy. He's a rich (very rich) and famous entrepreneur, basically. He has a bunch of smart ideas, or at least lots of people think so. 

What is Hyperloop? Oh right, we still don't know.

We just know this: Hyperloop is a set of designs for a hypothetical transportation system that Musk says would be able to convey passengers from San Francisco to Los Angeles in around 30 minutes. (It takes more than 5 hours to drive the distance right now, and over an hour to fly.)

Musk has apparently been hinting at his plans for this system for months. And last week he promised to release his plans today.

So, happy Hyperloop day.

Some people have started guessing what Hyperloop will look like based on the aforementioned hints Musk has dropped, and in fact a guy named John Gardi mocked something up and tweeted it at Elon Musk and Elon Musk tweeted back that it was the closest guess he'd seen yet. Gardi's plans involved magnetic accelerators and something about shunting air columns.

"I believe that Hyperloop is merely a modern day version of the pneumatic tubes used in banks, stores, and industry to move money and small items over long distances or to other floors of a building," Gardi wrote over at Motherboard, where you can read about his very educated guesswork in detail.

In other words, Hyperloop appears to be a series of tubes.

 Elon Musk's plans will be plans like drafts, not plans like commitments: Musk says he can't actually build Hyperloop himself, because he's too busy with electric cars and space. He just wants to release the design, and then welcome feedback on it. The designs are going to be open-source, of course.

So far nobody seems to know when the designs are coming, or where they will be posted. Building on his previous smart guesses, John Gardi thinks they will be released on Twitter.

We will let you know.


UPDATE 12:07 PM: Hyperloop has a twitter account and one single tweet: https://twitter.com/nwhyperloop

UPDATE 1:36 PM: Elon Musk says he will publish the Hyperloop plans at 4:30 p.m. EST:

 

UPDATE 4:43 PM: Musk has spoken to Bloomberg Businessweek about the Hyperloop design and will follow up with a press conference later today. Our new story is here.


Kate Allen is the Star's science and technology reporter. Find her on Twitter at @katecallen.

 

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

The World Daily

  • The Star's foreign desk covers the best stories from the around the globe, updated throughout the day.