25 Eccentric Plans and Ideas of Elon Musk For The Present and Future
Elon Musk is no stranger to controversy or critique. He tends to use his high profile to put a voice to some of his ideas for the present and future.
These 25 are prime examples and will, if nothing else, pique your interest.
1. Elon wants to colonize Mars
It is high time that humanity went beyond Earth. Should have a moon base by now and sent astronauts to Mars. The future needs to inspire. https://t.co/6HjDQnRSA5— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 13, 2017
Musk has never made his ambitions to make humans a "multi-planetary species". Colonizing Mars would be a good start, according to Musk.
At the 68th International Astronautical Congress in Adelaide in September 2017 he unveiled his plan to send cargo ships there in the next 5 years.
By extension, he hopes that humans will be settling the planet as soon as 2024.
2. But before we get there we'll need to heat it up
Of course, before we can ever colonize the Red Planet, we are going to need to heat it up a bit. According to Musk, the simplest and quickest way would be to nuke the planet's poles.
Sounds like something out of science fiction movie. As it turns out NASA seem to disagree with Musk.
3. Elon wants to die on Mars
OK "wants to" a little hyperbolic but has mentioned how he would like to die on Mars. Of course, this statement does come with a qualifier "Just not on impact".
4. Let's build a rollercoaster in our Fremont Factory
Elon Musk has defended his idea about installing a real rollercoaster in Tesla's Fremont factory. According to Musk a lot of their staff have slides as hobbies.
"You’d get in, and it would take you around [the] factory but also up and down. Who else has a roller coaster? … It would probably be really expensive, but I like the idea of it."
5. Musk wants to travel at 1124 km/h (700 mph) underground
Elon's Hyperloop has been compared by him to a "cross between a Concorde, a railgun, and an air hockey table".
The plan is to ultimately provide a means of travel that should be able to exceed 1124 km/h and all underground. At present two routes are in development - between Los Angeles and San Francisco and between New York and Washington D.C.
Once complete these trips should take no more than 30 minutes using Hyperloop.
6. Elon believes human-operated vehicles will be outlawed in the future
Elon's dedication to automated cars is without question. So much so that he has a vision of future where actually driving cars might be outlawed.
As Musk has pointed out "In the distant future, people may outlaw driving cars because it’s too dangerous. You can’t have a person driving a two-ton death machine."
7. Tesla's "kid-sized" submarine
When 12 children and their football (soccer) coach were trapped in a flooded cave in Thailand Elon and his team came up with a seemingly crazy idea. The solution, obviously, was to build a child-sized submarine.
The sub was designed and built in record time using spare rocket parts. Despite this, the rescue teams deemed it impractical and completed the mission without it. "Pedo guy" fallout aside Thai military officials believe the submarine could have utility in future.
8. Elon wants to build life-size LEGO brick style houses
New Boring Company merch coming soon. Lifesize LEGO-like interlocking bricks made from tunneling rock that you can use to create sculptures & buildings. Rated for California seismic loads, so super strong, but bored in the middle, like an aircraft wing spar, so not heavy.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 26, 2018
Elon's vision to build life-sized LEGO-brick style houses could be a great solution to affordable housing. It also 'kills two birds with one stone" as the bricks can be made from the spoil from Hyperloop tunnel excavations.
In March of this year, he tweeted out that he plans to use leftover earth to produce the interlocking, LEGO-inspired building blocks to build houses. True to his word The Boring Company began production shortly after.
9. Elon wants to wean humanity off fossil fuels
Singapore has enough land area to generate most of its electricity from the sun. Solar energy is more than most people realize. 250MW per sq km at current commercial efficiency solar panels. No more need to import fossil fuels for electricity, which is a strategic vulnerability.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 2, 2018
Apart from making driving less fun by stopping you driving (OK he hasn't said that), Elon wants to wean humans off using fossil fuels. He and Tesla are making great leaps and bounds on this front with their production of all-electric vehicles and supply of charging infrastructure.
Whilst they are making progress towards this it will be an ongoing campaign likely to last decades.
10. Elon's Gigafactory is certainly ambitious
Gigafactory 1 battery production has reached an annualized run rate of ≈20 GWh - more kWh than all other carmakers combined pic.twitter.com/wFIB7E72rX— Tesla (@Tesla) August 2, 2018
Elon is currently building a huge Gigafactory 1 in the middle of the Nevada desert. The plan, nicknamed "alien dreadnought" by Musk himself, will be the biggest building by footprint once complete at 540,000 m2.
This building is intended to provide as much power output as the world's current supply of Lithium-Ion batteries.
11. Musk wants to make snail-tunnel boring races a thing
The race between Gary, our pet snail who lives in a pineapple, and Godot, our tunnel boring… https://t.co/IES65Y99gJ— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 12, 2017
OK, we are exaggerating but Elon has revealed in the past that The Boring Company has a pet snail called Gary. This snail, he says, is able to beat existing tunnel boring technology in a race.
Now whilst this would be fun to watch for a short period of time its unlikely to replace football as a popular sport.
12. Musk wants to make space tourism a reality
Elon has made no secret of SpaceX's plans to send people around the moon in 2019. He even has some passengers lined up, though their names are understandably kept a secret.
This will be "one giant leap" forward for mass-transportation in space and could lead to it becoming commercialized for the masses very soon indeed.
13. Starlink could provide internet anywhere in the world
Today’s Falcon launch carries 2 SpaceX test satellites for global broadband. If successful, Starlink constellation will serve least served.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 21, 2018
Elon Musk has previously announced his hopes to build a network of satellites into Earth-orbit to provide Wi-Fi to the poorest and most remote parts of the globe. The project, called Starlink, would see 12,000 satellites deployed into low-earth orbit.
Although ambitious, some might say eccentric, this initiative is admirable.
14. SpaceX's reusable rockets are here
If you would have talked about the potential for building reusable rockets only a few decades ago many would have considered you a little eccentric. But that's exactly what Elon Musk and SpaceX have achieved in very short order.
These rockets promise to make space travel very affordable indeed. These rockets are currently being used to deliver cargo to the ISS with great success.
15. Neuralink will merge man and machine
Elon, as a founding member of Neuralink, hopes to smudge the boundary between humans and machines. The idea is to literally plug ourselves into computers. This will enable us to augment our cognitive abilities with the vastly greater computing power of computers.
Dubbed brain-computer interface (BCI), this technology could be used for cognitive enhancement, ranging from improving memory and decision-making abilities to staving off the symptoms of Alzheimer’s.
16. Musk wants to ensure "Good AI" is developed ASAP
Over the entrance of @OpenAI pic.twitter.com/ca3ZFdgmFe— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 10, 2016
Musk has historically made his views on the dangers of developing AI very clear in the past. He believes that without due care and attention it could become an existential threat to our species.
Likely influenced by Asimov's iRobot he has previously co-founded OpenAI to help regulate AI development. Although he has since left he still strongly supports the group's ethos.
17. Elon wants to use Solar power to meet humanities thirst for energy.
Thoughtful analysis of the Tesla/SolarCity merger by @tsrandall https://t.co/4Ba3px7hb8— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 29, 2016
Elon Musk came with an idea to use solar energy to supply enough energy to meet the needs for the entire species.
In order to make this a reality he helped set up and is now the biggest shareholder in SolarCity which is now a subsidiary of Tesla. The plan is to fit innovative sleek and efficient solar panels and tiles around the world.
18. Elon foresees cities not just colonies on Mars
Elon seems so convinced by Man becoming an interplanetary species that he envisages sprawling cities on Mars, not just colonies and outposts.
He has previously stated that he hopes to see everything there from "iron foundries to pizza joints".
19. Let's send a car into space
Of course one of his most eccentric plans was to send a fully functional Tesla Roadster into space. The now infamous event occurred in February of this year onboard one of SpaceX's powerful Falcon Heavy rockets.
But Elon had previously stated he wasn't completely confident in the mission's success. I had this image of just a giant explosion on the pad, a wheel bouncing down the road. But fortunately, that's not what happened," Elon Musk reporters after the event.
20. Lest we forget the Boring Flamethrower
The Boring Company flamethrower guaranteed to liven up any party! https://t.co/n2FiZimJia— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 28, 2018
Elon Musk's made headlines, as usual, with his latest eccentric plan to build and sell 20,000 "flamethrowers" that were to be sold at $500 a piece. They went on sale in January of this year and sold out very quickly indeed.
Of course, according to Musk, these were not actual weapons... honestly.
21. Any future Martian Government would be direct democracy
Rather than being eccentric, per se, Musk envisages any future government of Mars would need to be via direct democracy. He believes that any other form, says representative democracy might be impractical.
"So it would be people voting directly on issues. And I think that's probably better because the potential for democracy is substantially diminished," he said.
22. Elon hopes we really are in a simulation else things look bleak
Although he's pretty much banned talking about existence being a simulation with his brother Elon has a sobering message for us all.
"Arguably we should hope that that's true, because otherwise if civilization stops advancing, that may be due to some calamitous event that erases civilization," he said.
23. He has said that any single person is more powerful than a US president 20 years ago
Musk believes that any one of us more power than we have ever had before. Our access to computers, the internet, and social media magnifies our abilities to pretty much do anything.
"You have more power than the president of the United States had 20 years ago," he said. "You can answer any question, you can video conference with anyone, anywhere. You can send messages to millions of people instantly. Just do incredible things."
24. Musk warns that any pioneers to Mars should make peace with their maker (just in case)
Elon Musk has also warned that any potential pioneer colonists to the red planet should be "prepared to die". He notes that any first attempt to establish a human presence on the planet is going to be very dangerous.
"The risk of fatality will be high. There's just no way around it."
25. Elon wants his own volcano lair
If this works, I'm treating myself to a volcano lair. It's time.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 15, 2015
Elon Musk is o stranger to critique or, that is, comparisons to genius superheroes and villains a la Tony Stark or Dr, Evil.
Back in 2015, he made his ambitions for a future lair available for all to see.