Elon Musk Explains Why He Thinks Flying Cars Are a Really Bad Idea
Elon Musk is a passionate fan of much technology, but that doesn't include the idea of flying cars. During his TEDTalk at the TED Conference in Vancouver, the Tesla CEO shot down his faith in flying cars.
[Image Source: Steve Jurvetson via Flickr]
"I'm in favor of flying things," Musk told Chris Anderson. "There is a challenge with flying cars in that they'll be quite noisy, the wind-force generated will be very high. Let's just say that if something's flying over your head, if there are a whole bunch of flying cars all over the place, that is not an anxiety-reducing situation."
The statement comes after Uber recently hosted the first-ever flying car conference. The event in Dallas, Texas included tons of panels discussing the merits and futures of flying cars, particularly Uber's commuter aircraft. The company plans on debuting it by 2020 -- at least for user testing rather than a full fleet.
Musk's statement wasn't a direct snub at Uber, but he certainly didn't hold back. He continued with:
"You don't think to yourself, 'well, I feel better about today.' You're thinking, 'did they service their hubcap? Or is it going to come off and guillotine me as they're flying past?'"
This isn't the first time Musk made this statement. He used similar phrasing in a February Bloomberg article with Max Chafkin.
This thinly veiled comment about Uber isn't Musk's first. In October 2016, Musk discussed the Tesla Network -- the company's ridesharing plan and possible Uber competition. During a quarterly earnings call, he was asked how the plan stacked up with the rest of the company or if it was only to make electric cars more popular.
“I think it’s a bit of both, really,” Musk said. “This would be something that would be a significant offset of the cost of ownership of a car, and then a revenue generator of Tesla as well. Obviously a majority of economics would go to the owner of the car. Sometimes it’s been characterized as Tesla versus Uber or Lyft, or something like that."
“But it’s not Tesla versus Uber, it’s the people versus Uber.”
Musk spelled out his plan in the Master Plan, Part Deux last July. He said with the press of a button on the Tesla app, drivers could add their vehicle to the fleet of shared electric, self-driving cars. Users could "have it generate income for you while you're at work or on vacation, significantly offsetting and at times potentially exceeding the monthly loan or lease cost."
Last week, Musk was asked whether or not ride sharing was still a viability or if his thoughts had changed. They hadn't. Musk said:
"Absolutely this is what will happen. There will be a shared autonomy fleet where you buy your car. You can choose to use that car exclusively; you can choose to have it be used only by friends and family; only by other drivers who are rated five-star; you can choose to share it sometimes but not others times; that’s 100 percent what will occur, it’s just a question of when."
You can watch Musk's full TED interview in the video below. It's a wealth of information, and the innovator discusses everything from Tesla's future to space.