Next up, and perhaps most interestingly, is the idea to reimagine public transport. One part of this would be making self-driving trucks for long-haul cargo trips, delivering “a substantial reduction in the cost of cargo transport”, although it’s unclear what role – if any – human truck drivers would play in this.
The other part of Musk’s public transport revolution, though, is more awesome. He wants to create self-driving buses (smaller than ones in operation today) that can brake and accelerate at the same speed as cars, helping traffic congestion. “It would also take people all the way to their destination,” he said. “Fixed summon buttons at existing bus stops would serve those who don't have a phone.”
Bus drivers would see their role “transitioned” into fleet managers for these futuristic buses. Musk also said he’d increase the number of passengers that can be carried by “eliminating the centre aisle”, although it’s not entirely clear what he means by this.
Finally, he reasserted Tesla’s plan to make all of its vehicles completely autonomous. He envisages a future where your Tesla car can operate as a self-driving taxi for other people when you are not using it (such as when you’re at work), simply by hitting a button on your phone. This would earn you money as others used your car, which “dramatically lowers the true cost of ownership to the point where almost anyone could own a Tesla.” These would operate alongside Tesla-owned fleets of self-driving cars. Who needs Uber, eh?
All in all, it sounds pretty good to us, Elon. We’ll check back in 10 years to see how you’re getting on.