Tesla, Boring Company, Neuralink, SpaceX: Elon Musk provides company updates from Austin's Giga Texas
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:
Cybertruck in NYC pic.twitter.com/Q7JnSo1QoX— Tesla (@Tesla) May 8, 2021
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
Vegas Loop is expanding - 29 miles and 51 stations!— The Boring Company (@boringcompany) October 20, 2021
Thanks to the Clark County team for the great partnership and to the Commissioners for unanimous approval. https://t.co/KrfF5SUsxq
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.
Monkey MindPong https://youtu.be/rsCul1sp4hQ\u00a0pic.twitter.com/GYrYNsJ68u— Neuralink (@Neuralink) 1617925069
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.
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.”
- Tesla can't sell directly to Texans unless law is uplifted - austonia ›
- Tesla to build new showroom in south Austin - austonia ›
- 5 updates on Elon Musk's Texas ventures from Tesla to SpaceX ... ›
- Elon Musk to open Tesla restaurant after living in austin - austonia ›
- Rivian secures spot as latest Tesla challenger - austonia ›
- Best tech companies in Austin to get hired at - austonia ›
- A Boring Company warehouse could be coming to Bastrop - austonia ›
- San Antonio, Boring Company in talks for underground tunnel - austonia ›
- Austin officials visit Las Vegas to meet with Boring Company - austonia ›
- The Boring Company receives Austin area's largest venture investment - austonia ›
- The Boring Company faces investigations by TCEQ - austonia ›
- SpaceX considers building a facility in nearby Bastrop County, east of Austin - austonia ›
- Protestors gather downtown to demand an end to Neuralink testing on monkeys - austonia ›
- Elon Musk considers a hyperloop tunnel between Austin and San Antonio - austonia ›
- San Marcos favorite Industry Burger opens "mid-October" on E. 5th, featuring "low key healthy" Texas fare.
- Still Austin Whiskey Co. introduces "The Artist," its new rye whiskey.
- Domain NORTHSIDE favorites Bakery Lorraine, Grimaldi's Pizzeria, Jeni's Ice Cream and Sprinkles released their fall flavors.
- Cinnaholic at The Arboretum opens Friday, October 14, serving "create your own" cinnamon rolls and other sweet treats.
- San Francisco's Marufuku Ramen opens next Wednesday, October 12, in the Mueller District.
- Carpenter Hotel announces its popup food truck, Lil Carpenter, open Fri-Sun both ACL weekends, serving what you want, early to late, coffee to donuts, to dogs/burgers/fries/beer.
With major entertainment events slated for October, the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport is gearing up for a busy month.
Artists and music lovers are set to pack into Zilker Park for The Austin City Limits Music Festival in the coming two weekends. Following that, Formula One will bring racing fans to the Circuit of the Americas.
For those two events, the airport is anticipating high passenger days with 30,000 or more people departing flights.
ABIA recommends arriving at least two and a half hours in advance for domestic flights on those days. For ACL, it's expected on both Sundays of the festival along with the Monday and Tuesday after. The F1-driven high passenger days are expected on Oct. 20-21 and Oct. 23-26.
\u201c#AustinCityLimits visitors, you\u2019re in for a weird and wild ride \ud83e\udd18\u262e\ufe0f \n\nFlying in or out of our airport? We got firm and fun tips for you: https://t.co/RawVRalOXN\u201d— Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) (@Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS)) 1664894083
F1, especially, could draw in loads of travelers as the three-day event saw 400,000 attendees last year. ABIA warns that highways leading to the airport may see even higher traffic than usual around the event and that travelers should plan their route accordingly.
Bailey Grimmett, a spokesperson for ABIA, said travel numbers come in 24 hours in advance. So, it's hard to predict if the airport will see travel volumes at the same levels that have happened around previous F1 races or if it'll top ACL's flight traffic.
Still, she says historical knowledge points to a chance for it.
“We've had that Monday after F1 break the record for single busiest in airport history," Grimmett said. "So context clues I would say yes, but I can't confirm that. But the historical background points to that."
In anticipation of the high volume of flyers, the airport received additional TSA officers for security screening through the end of October. To prepare even further, the Department of Aviation and partners hosted a job showcase and hiring fair to address the continued labor shortage the airport has experienced.
Relief from hectic travel days is on the horizon with November likely to see a slowdown.
"I don't anticipate it will be as busy as October just because we don't have as many events going on," Grimmett said. "Thanksgiving is kind of our primary holiday that we see a lot of passengers coming in and out of the airport."