Elon Musk to unveil new mode of transportation?

Pretoria-born billionaire entrepreneur and inventor, Elon Musk is set to release an “alpha design” on his much talked about high speed transportation system, the Hyperloop, later on Monday (12 August, 2013).

Musk tweeted on July 15: “Will publish Hyperloop alpha design by Aug 12. Critical feedback for improvements would be much appreciated.”

It is speculated that Musk’s idea is based on pneumatic tubes, where cylindrical containers are propelled through a network of tubes by compressed air or by partial vacuum, and commonly used by banks to transport money.

During a Tesla earnings call Thursday (8 August), Musk – who is also behind online transaction facility PayPal, electric carmaker Tesla Motors (TSLA) and rocket maker, SpaceX – said he is too focused on other projects to consider actually building the Hyperloop.

“I think I kind of shot myself by ever mentioning the Hyperloop,” he said. “I don’t have any plans to execute, because I must remain focused on SpaceX and Tesla.”

According to Associated Press, Musk said during a Google Hangout with Sir Richard Branson: “It does involve a tube, but not a vacuum tube.”

The billionaire also hinted that the transportation system will be powered by solar panels.

Elon Musk
Elon Musk

John Gardi, a self-described “tinkerer,” recently contacted Musk on Twitter: “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”.

”Can you give me some basic clues? What diameter of tube so I can start designing stations and throughways?”

Musk replied: ”Your guess is the closest I’ve seen anyone guess so far. Pod diameter probably around 2m.”

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Elon Musk to unveil new mode of transportation?