In recent years, Tesla has established itself as a leader in self-driving electric cars. Indeed, today, the autopilot system of the company represented by Elon Musk is extremely successful and equips most of the cars sold. But beyond artificial intelligence and the various advanced technologies on board, Musk would like to take a new step by giving the possibility to his Roadster to float in the air. An idea which, if it is ambitious, is currently encountering some technical obstacles.
Elon Musk has said for years that he wanted to come up with a rocket thruster package to boost the speed of the second-generation Tesla Roadster. But now he says he's also considering using the thrusters to get the Roadster high. “ I want it high, and I've been trying to figure out how to get this thing high without, you know, killing people, ” Musk told Joe Rogan in a new episode of Joe Rogan Experience released Thursday.
“ Maybe he could hover about a meter above the ground, or something. If you fall, it will blow up the suspensions, but you won't die ”. It's an ambitious idea, and one that is sure to create a headache for safety regulators if Musk succeeds, when the new Roadster hits the market in 2022.
Musk is used to pushing the limits with Tesla vehicles, although he seems more willing lately to make choices that could force regulators to act. The redesigned Model S sedan and Model X SUV announced last month, for example, each feature a U-shaped steering wheel that had come as a surprise to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration . These new vehicles will also automatically switch between park, reverse, neutral and drive.
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It appears that Elon Musk is considindg something akin to the Speeders from Star Wars, the hovering vehicles used by Luke Skywalker and others to move around their planets, although the concept is difficult to achieve using technology. existing. One option could be to use something like magnetic levitation, and indeed, a patent for a maglev car already exists.
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Much like a maglev train, strong magnets in the vehicle and the road would repel each other, causing levitation and using alternating polarities to generate forward motion. However, unless Musk intends to do a public infrastructure overhaul wherever he wants to sell the Roadster, it's not a viable choice, as the roads are not yet equipped for maglev. .
Alternatively, the Roadster could function more like the flying bikes and taxis already found in some cities, although they function more like drones or helicopters. Musk's comments make it sound like he wants theft to be an optional feature of the Roadster.
Tesla would also likely have problems if he went with a more traditional hovercraft design. Even using lightweight materials, the hovercraft won't float more than a few inches in the air, and the Roadster would likely be heavier than a traditional hovercraft; so unless the design is significantly changed, a floating car does not seem to be planned for the short term.