The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Elon Musk Has a Secret Plan to Eliminate City Traffic With a 'New Type of Car'
At a government-sponsored talk in Norway on Thursday, the Tesla CEO hinted to transport and communications minister Ketil Solvik-Olsen that his company has a secret plan to solve traffic congestion, according to Electrek.
Solvik-Olsen: Can we expect Tesla to revolutionize mass transit when it comes to buses?
Musk: We have an idea for something which is not exactly a bus, but would solve the density problem in intercity situations. I think we need to rethink the whole concept of public transport and create something that people are actually gonna like a lot more. I don’t want to talk too much about it.
When asked if he was referring to the Hyperloop system that would transport people through high-speed vacuum tubes, Musk replied no:
Musk: 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.
As Gizmodo pointed out, it sounds like Musk and Tesla could be tackling the “first mile/last mile” dilemma, a barrier that prevents people living in suburbs or smaller cities from conveniently getting to and from transit stations. This means, for example, that you have to drive your car to the train station then drive back after you return on the train. Perhaps Musk is considering an autopiloted bus that could pick up a number of passengers enroute to the train station?
The concept is similar to UberPool or LyftLine, which are shared ride options that let you and other riders who are headed towards the same destination take a single car together. This means fewer cars on the road—and, ultimately, less CO2 emissions—if more people carpool.
Electrek observed that Musk refused to answer a question about Uber last year, prompting speculation that Tesla might be working on its own ridesharing service or they might be in talks with Uber.
Just like everyone else, Elon Musk hates sitting in traffic. He once suggested building more car tunnels to help solve congestion.
“Gridlock is just a soul-destroying thing,” he told Bloomberg last year.
Meanwhile, sales of Tesla's latest ride, the highly anticipated Model 3, have surpassed Musk's expectations.
"We are now almost at 400,000 orders for the model 3," he said at his talk in Norway, adding that interest in the model "surprised even us."
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Company Safety Data Sheets on New Chemicals Frequently Lack the Worker Protections EPA Claims They Include
By Richard Denison
Readers of this blog know how concerned EDF is over the Trump EPA's approval of many dozens of new chemicals based on its mere "expectation" that workers across supply chains will always employ personal protective equipment (PPE) just because it is recommended in the manufacturer's non-binding safety data sheet (SDS).
By Grant Smith
From 2009 to 2012, Gregory Jaczko was chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which approves nuclear power plant designs and sets safety standards for plants. But he now says that nuclear power is too dangerous and expensive — and not part of the answer to the climate crisis.
By Brett Walton
When Greg Wetherbee sat in front of the microscope recently, he was looking for fragments of metals or coal, particles that might indicate the source of airborne nitrogen pollution in Rocky Mountain National Park. What caught his eye, though, were the plastics.
In a big victory for animals, Prada has announced that it's ending its use of fur! It joins Coach, Jean Paul Gaultier, Giorgio Armani, Versace, Ralph Lauren, Vivienne Westwood, Michael Kors, Donna Karan and many others PETA has pushed toward a ban.
This is a victory more than a decade in the making. PETA and our international affiliates have crashed Prada's catwalks with anti-fur signs, held eye-catching demonstrations all around the world, and sent the company loads of information about the fur industry. In 2018, actor and animal rights advocate Pamela Anderson sent a letter on PETA's behalf urging Miuccia Prada to commit to leaving fur out of all future collections, and the iconic designer has finally listened.
If people in three European countries want to fight the climate crisis, they need to chill out more.
"The rapid pace of labour-saving technology brings into focus the possibility of a shorter working week for all, if deployed properly," Autonomy Director Will Stronge said, The Guardian reported. "However, while automation shows that less work is technically possible, the urgent pressures on the environment and on our available carbon budget show that reducing the working week is in fact necessary."
The report found that if the economies of Germany, Sweden and the UK maintain their current levels of carbon intensity and productivity, they would need to switch to a six, 12 and nine hour work week respectively if they wanted keep the rise in global temperatures to the below two degrees Celsius promised by the Paris agreement, The Independent reported.
The study based its conclusions on data from the UN and the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) on greenhouse gas emissions per industry in all three countries.
The report comes as the group Momentum called on the UK's Labour Party to endorse a four-day work week.
"We welcome this attempt by Autonomy to grapple with the very real changes society will need to make in order to live within the limits of the planet," Emma Williams of the Four Day Week campaign said in a statement reported by The Independent. "In addition to improved well-being, enhanced gender equality and increased productivity, addressing climate change is another compelling reason we should all be working less."
Supporters of the idea linked it to calls in the U.S. and Europe for a Green New Deal that would decarbonize the economy while promoting equality and well-being.
"This new paper from Autonomy is a thought experiment that should give policymakers, activists and campaigners more ballast to make the case that a Green New Deal is absolutely necessary," Common Wealth think tank Director Mat Lawrence told The Independent. "The link between working time and GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions has been proved by a number of studies. Using OECD data and relating it to our carbon budget, Autonomy have taken the step to show what that link means in terms of our working weeks."
Stronge also linked his report to calls for a Green New Deal.
"Becoming a green, sustainable society will require a number of strategies – a shorter working week being just one of them," he said, according to The Guardian. "This paper and the other nascent research in the field should give us plenty of food for thought when we consider how urgent a Green New Deal is and what it should look like."
- Reduced Work Hours as a Means of Slowing Climate Change ›
- How working less could solve all our problems. Really. | ›
- Needed: A shorter work week – People's World ›