Tesla CEO Elon Musk gave a keynote address on “future transport solutions” at a government-sponsored conference in Norway. His presentation was short, and he also sat down for a public discussion with Ketil Solvik-Olsen, the country’s Minister of Transport and Communications. One question from the minister got Musk talking.
How Tesla plans to solve traffic problems
“How to reduce global warming through renewable energy production and consumption,” was the title of Musk’s presentation. Just as Musk voiced his ideas during his Paris talk last year, he also shared his views about what’s needed to quicken the transition to a post-fossil-fuel economy in this conference, the website said.
When talking about avoiding overcrowded cities with personal vehicles, the Minister of Transport asked Musk, “Can we expect Tesla to revolutionize mass transit when it comes to buses?”
“We have an idea for something which is not exactly a bus, but would solve the density problem in intercity situations,” Musk answered.
The CEO said there is a need to rethink the whole concept of public transport and create something people are really going to like. When someone asked Musk if he was talking about the Hyperloop, Musk promptly answered no, the report said. The Tesla CEO said he has to be careful of what he says in public because what really happens is that he makes an off-hand comment at discussions that lands as a small thing in a page 3 article in a Norwegian Newspaper. But that international mention turns into a big headline.
Is an Uber-like service the solution?
However, Musk could not follow his own instructions and continued to talk.
“There’s a new type of car or vehicle that I think would be really great (to solve vehicle density in cities problem) and actually take people to their final destination and not just to the bus stop,” Musk said.
Musk refused to answer a question about Uber last year, triggering rumors that the electric carmaker is working on an Uber-like service with autonomous vehicles. Though Musk did not want his comments to make headlines, he does not appear to be working very hard to silence such rumors.
The costs, market share and potential profit of using fully-automated vehicles to start a mobility on-demand service were the focus of two recent studies. They used a hypothetical fleet of fully-autonomous Tesla Model 3 cars operating in Austin, Tex. and found it was quite profitable, the report said.