Tesla CEO Elon Musk would like to bring Autopilot over to transit vehicles to reduce traffic in congested urban environments.
Musk says he is working on a self-driving vehicle that could replace buses and other public transport vehicles – but he is keeping it a secret for now.
“We have an idea for something which is not exactly a bus but would solve the density problem for inner city situations,” Musk said at a transport conference in Norway last week. “Autonomous vehicles are key,” he said.
He’s not ready to go into any of the details yet. “I don’t want to talk too much about it,” Musk said. “I have to be careful what I say.”
Tesla Motors’ Autopilot features have been bringing autonomous technologies to roads before other automakers. Optional features on the Tesla Model S and X, and which will be available on the Model 3, include lane-changing and self-parking controls.
Along with reducing greenhouse gas emissions, Musk is very concerned about where cities are headed with ever-increasing populations. “I very much agree with solving the high-density urban transport problem,” Musk said. “There’s a new type of car or vehicle that would be great for that and that’ll actually take people to their final destination and not just the bus stop.”
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Musk’s vast array of interests have become well known in recent years. He introduced the Hyperloop pod concept that will be able to shuttle passengers between San Francisco and Los Angeles within an hour. He also oversees SpaceX, a space transport company, which plans to one day send passengers to Mars.
Earlier this year, Musk talked about building electric-powered jets that could take off vertically. Musk was queried about his next big idea at a Q&A session.
“Well I have been thinking about the vertical takeoff and landing electric jet a bit more,” Musk said. “I mean, I think I have something that might [be] close. I’m quite tempted to do something about it.”