Tesla CEO Elon Musk alludes to next-generation, autonomous public transport project at a Norwegian transport conference

Tesla’s Elon musk has suggested that a new public transport system is under development at the EV brand.

Although Musk was cautious about what he was revealing, and avoided naming or identifying the project itself, the public transport nature of the project was alluded to.

Musk said: “We have an idea for something that is not exactly a bus, but would solve the density problem for inner city situations. I think we actually need to rethink the whole concept of public transport and create something that people are actually going to like a lot more.”

He clarified that he was not talking about the ‘Hyperloop’ project, and continued: “I very much agree with solving the high-density urban transport problem, and I think there’s a new type of car or vehicle that would be great for that, and would take people to their final destination – not just a bus stop.”

When Norway’s Minister of Transport and Communications, Ketil Solvik-Olsen, asked where autonomous vehicles fit into the scheme, Musk replied: “Autonomous vehicles are key.”

Solvik-Olsen also addressed a key area of autonomous vehicle development: public trust. Musk said: “I think people will trust it surprisingly quickly. The feedback we’ve got from our autonomous software in Teslas today has been extremely positive.”

Musk also spoke of his need for caution, saying: “I’ll make an offhand comment in a group like this, and it’ll be a small page three article in a regional newspaper, then the international press will seize on that, and turn it into a big headline.”

The impact and adoption of autonomous motoring on public transportation systems have long been the cause of debate. Musk’s proposal – which is likely to be an autonomous, electric car equivalent to on-demand transport app Uber – looks to introduce autonomy to public transport on a wide scale.

Musk’s aim to solve the high-density urban transport problem, however, which would involve higher numbers of passengers per vehicle, leaves the type of vehicle that would be used for the project open to interpretation, given the introduction of the topic through the discussion of buses, which have a far higher transport density than even a fully-laden, seven-seat Tesla Model X

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Comments
6

22 April 2016
But I wish Telsa would pour all their R and D money into getting the Model 3 and then a small simple SUV onto the market. All this Total Autonomous crap is just a distraction.

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

22 April 2016
Sorry xxxx but I think you have things the wrong way around. Their priority isn't to make nice cars, it's to incorporate environmentally friendly transport solutions.

22 April 2016
And they can only do that by first becoming a successful car company, by making cars

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

22 April 2016
And they can only do that by first becoming a successful car company, by making cars

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

22 April 2016
Piecing it all together the 3 timetable is driven by the completion of the Gigafactory rather than R&D on the 3. Given what he has said in the past the Tesla vision must be autonomous EV transport. Uber without drivers seems a very good comparison. This raises the obvious question what type of vehicles are need for these tasks and what is the cost per mile against convenience balance. So Taxi or ring and ride. Maybe just me but I would feel more relaxed using an autonomous uber for intercity over a manned taxi. Small talk for minutes interesting for hours not so much.

24 April 2016
Driverless cars are an abomination and Autocar should be fighting against them at every opportunity. If the lefty control freaks manage to get them working it won't be long after that before they force us all to use them, and driving would become a thing of the past. Cars, which have been one of our greatest bringers of freedom, would be reduced to being nothing more than miniature buses, and would be under central control, so that they would take us only where they wanted us to go and when they wanted us to go there. The lefties have long dreamed of such population control. Our freedom is in grave danger, and nobody is speaking up to preserve it.

I don't need to put my name here, it's on the left

 

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