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Tesla CEO Elon Musk talked the future of mankind, government spending and his companies from the new Tesla headquarters at Giga Texas in southeast Travis County for the Wall Street Journal's CEO Council this week.


The interview covered a lot of ground, from his view that the $2 trillion reconciliation bill pending in the Senate should just be canned to his thoughts on declining birth rates. On the latter, he made a dire prediction that "civilization is going to crumble" if people don't have more children. He also talked about his multitasking, saying he splits his time somewhat evenly between Tesla and SpaceX. "It really depends where I'm needed most," he said.

But he stressed the potential of SpaceX, saying the kind of rocket they're working on could be the difference between whether humanity becomes a multi-planetary species or not. Meanwhile, he's also juggling projects at Neuralink, which he said may eventually allow people with paralysis to gain mobility.

These are a few key takeaways of plans for his companies and their impact on Texas:

Tesla

All the hype is around the new Tesla Cybertruck, which he said may be Tesla’s best product ever. He expects to provide an update during the Tesla earnings call early next year but reiterated that the company is aiming for full volume production in 2023 from Giga Texas.

“I wish it could be sooner, but that’s most likely when it happens,” Musk said. “It will be something really special. Just one of those kinds of rare products that happens once in a while.”

Musk boasted Tesla’s share of the EV market, saying the company is responsible for roughly two-thirds of EVs in the U.S. with more coming, as the Model Y is revving up for production at the Austin factory, as well.

The Boring Company

The Boring Company, a tunnel construction business that Musk founded, envisions a network of tunnels in cities, making more and more levels as needed to accommodate the population of travelers.

Musk says he thinks a combination of double decking freeways and building tunnels will be the way to eliminate traffic. “If we don’t do something, we will be stuck in traffic forever," Musk said.

The company’s first underground transportation system is in Las Vegas, where it has faced the potential of penalties for missing contractual targets. In Central Texas, The Boring Company is laying out more ground with positions open in Austin and Bastrop for roles in engineering, operations, and production.

Neuralink

Musk founded Neuralink in 2016 with the aim of developing a brain-machine interface system, which entails implanting a small gadget into a person's brain to track neural activity, similar to how activity trackers like Fitbit count steps, heart rate and other physical activities. The company has a few employees in Austin.

Musk said he’s “cautiously optimistic” about the possibility of restoring full body functionality for those with spinal cord injuries with the implantable brain-machine interface.

Currently, they are testing on monkeys to ensure safety. The plan is to make it available for people with spinal cord injuries next year, pending FDA approval.

He added that their standards for safety are higher than what the FDA requires, just as Tesla’s standards for safety are higher than what the government requires.

SpaceX

Musk has big plans with SpaceX. He's working on Starship, a reusable orbital rocket, that could be the difference between whether humanity becomes a multi-planetary species or doesn't.

Musk said there are moments where he wonders whether it’ll actually get pulled off. If it is accomplished, he emphasized what an achievement he thinks it’ll be.

“This is a profound revolution in access to orbit,” Musk said. “There has never been a fully reusable orbital launch vehicle. This is the holy grail of space technology.”

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