Elon Musk is too busy to build the Hyperloop. But the plans are open source.

Elon Musk is too busy with electric cars and space travel to build the Hyperloop. (Paul Sakuma/AP)

For a month, Paypal and Tesla co-founder Elon Musk has been hyping a futuristic transportation tech called the "Hyperloop." The exact nature of the system (Magnets? Pneumatic tubes?) will be unveiled later Monday, but Musk previously claimed it would cut a commute from Los Angeles to New York down to 45 minutes at a fraction of the cost of high speed rail.

That sounds great, right?

Too bad he's not planning on building it:

During a Tesla earnings call Thursday, Musk said he would reveal plans for the Hyperloop on Monday. But he said he is too focused on other projects to consider actually building it.

“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.”

But just because Musk is too busy to cut through all the red tape required to make the Hyperloop a reality doesn't mean it will never happen. The plans he's unveiling Monday are open source, so anyone can use or modify them.

Andrea Peterson covers technology policy for The Washington Post, with an emphasis on cybersecurity, consumer privacy, transparency, surveillance and open government.



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Brian Fung · August 11, 2013