Elon Musk From TED 2017: Boring Company, Tesla Semi, SpaceX And More – Video

Elon Musk


Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk takes part in an information-packed and insightful interview with TED’s Chris Anderson.

There’s been a lot of highlighting in the press about Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s latest TED interview. We shared some key points including his Boring teaser, but there’s a whole lot more to learn in this 41-minute video.

Musk generally takes to Twitter to deliver new, exciting news, or to answer the myriad of questions that exist. There are always new questions popping up, because every time we turn a corner, Musk has some new idea or announcement, and he tends to keep it light on the details.

Elon Musk

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk at TED 2017..

Musk is a very busy man, but from time to time he sits down for an interview. It is an opportunity for him to bring us up to speed on all of the happenings at Tesla and SpaceX, current status and successes, and what’s in store for the future. While many of Musk’s appearances have mostly been an opportunity for him to revisit or elaborate on a lot of the same information, this talk is stocked with new material.

Aside from the Boring stuff – and beating Gary the pet snail – and using strobe lights to view Gigafactory cell production speed – Musk talks about flying cars, the hyperloop, Tesla’s semi-truck, Mars, and Tesla and SpaceX in general, of course.

You can also read a summary of the TED interview questions at the TEDBlog.

Video Description via Inverse on YouTube:

The serial entrepreneur took part in an engaging 40-minute interview with TED’s Chris Anderson on Friday, April 28, 2017 at the TED 2017 conference in Vancouver. Here’s Elon Musk talking about the Boring Company, SpaceX, Tesla, hyperloop, Donald Trump, and more.


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35 Comments on "Elon Musk From TED 2017: Boring Company, Tesla Semi, SpaceX And More – Video"

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Space X launched and landed rocket today…GO ELON GO

I love watching those, and enjoyed that this morning.

Can’t wait when the Falcon Heavy launches later this year, and see three first stages land, with the two side ones landing at the same time.

Awesome new camera angles too!

and what about the “hyperloop” M.Leonardo Musk ?
(a little sarcastic )

What about it?

Elon has clearly said he has given that concept away for others to develop. In other words, he’s not active in working on it or trying to develop it into a practical transportation system. Between Tesla, SpaceX and SolarCity, I think he’s got enough on his plate already! Plus he’s got that “Boring Company” hobby thing going. (I say “hobby” because it’s wildly impractical; aspirational rather than realistic, like the idea of colonizing Mars using current tech.)

All this underground tunneling talk reminds me of the Hive below Raccoon City.

And just think, I could have went to this last week here in Vancouver. TED conference cost is $7,500 CDN (Yup, not a joke, and that’s the cheap option!!!), and have to fill out a crazy questionnaire stating to the organizers, why you are worthy to attend, which they will consider your response, on whether you will be allowed to go. They recommend you spend at least two hours on your response.

Even ignoring the absurd cost, just that whole questionnaire thing, puts me off from wanting to attend.

Especially when it’s free on Youtube and you can watch from home.

. . . can watch from home in your underwear.


“Sittin’ in a bean bag chair, naked, eating Cheetos”

Hope that bean bag chair isn’t vinyl/plastic!

Sounds like pure f*****y to me

Quoting from the TedBlog summary (link below): “Using only passive optical cameras and GPS, no LIDAR, the Model 3 will be capable of autonomous driving. ‘Once you solve cameras for vision, autonomy is solved; if you don’t solve vision, it’s not solved … You can absolutely be superhuman with just cameras’.” Very sorry to see that Elon is trying to “cheap out” on autonomy by using just cameras. I think Waymo (formerly Google’s self-driving car project) has the right idea; use cameras, scanning lidar, and radars, to get the best possible data under any given circumstance. Even if Tesla can solve the extremely difficult programming problem of writing software that can reliably resolve, identify, and track real-world objects using stereo cameras, why limit a self-driving car to the same optical limitations as the human eye? We can’t see thru fog, but radar and probably infrared lidar can handle that just fine. Similarly, lidar and radar work just as well in the dark as in bright daylight. Of course there are low-light cameras, but do they work as well? From what I’ve seen, the images are far more grainy. I think trying to use only cameras as sensors for autonomous driving… Read more »

Citation for the quote above:

“What will the future look like? Elon Musk speaks at TED2017”


Tesla will definitely use LIDAR if it becomes cheap.

I think Elon wants to push pure vision as much as he can. If you use LIDAR as a crutch right now, your camera processing doesn’t have to be as good.

I suspect the applications for great camera vision are far more extensive (and lucrative) than they are for LIDAR. It’s isn’t just about self-driving, IMO.

Speaking as a programmer, I just don’t see that software processing of camera images can possibly get to within the ballpark of being as good as the visual processing center of the human brain, using today’s technology. Our brains are the result of billions of years of evolution, and humans have better visual acuity than nearly every animal on Earth; raptors (birds of prey) being the only exceptions. Now I have no doubt that someday, computers will have enough processing power, and I suppose eventually techniques will be developed to write extremely complex programs which work reliably, so that we can actually get reliable computerized optical object recognition systems. But those will be developed in time by computer designers and those working on “A.I.” Those obstacles won’t be overcome by Tesla. And let us not confuse actual artificial intelligence, or A.I., with the expert systems software that is mis-labeled “A.I.” as a marketing ploy. Actual A.I. R&D has progressed to about the level of a not very smart bug, and researchers are trying hard to progress to the level of smarter bugs. We are a very, very long way from having a computer/software system which can actually recognize the world… Read more »

You should research neural networks. They’re better than humans in target recognition in many cases.

Based on what I know, that would be “better than humans” in some circumstances and far worse in others. That’s not going to fly for autonomous driving. We need systems which are as close to 100% reliable as can be reasonably and affordably achieved.

Ah, but surely the problem with the human brain is that it *is* simply so powerful and, as a consequence, lots of stuff goes on that has nothing whatsoever to do with driving which keeps competing, very effectively, for brain processing capability; What’s for dinner?, Why is that arisole 4 feet off my bumper?!, Oooooooh, foxy lady/guy! etc, etc, etc. This (and *so* much else) is the cause of so many accidents that by simply removing it, you could stop about 80% of accidents right from the start.

Am I the only one who thinks autonomous driving is a solution in search of a problem??

I can think of only a few times when driving when I think it would have been nice to have autonomous driving, and that is in heavy fog, dust storm, blizzard, downpour rain….anything where visibility is zip. But other than that I bought the car to drive not be driven.

Pushmi-Pullyu said: “….Even if Tesla can solve the extremely difficult programming problem of writing software that can reliably resolve, identify, and track real-world objects using stereo cameras, why limit a self-driving car to the same optical limitations as the human eye? We can’t see thru fog, but radar and probably infrared lidar can handle that just fine.”

Lots and lots of work on a topic that is just not critical to driving a car.

It’s also nice not to have to chug coffee to stay alert at night on extended trips, that have long straight flat boring highways.

35,092 people were killed in auto accidents in the USA alone, in 2015. Tesla says its goal is to reduce the accident rate by 90%.

If that can be achieved, that would save ~31,600 lives per year just in the USA, and of course far more worldwide.

Furthermore, lowering the accident rate would lower the cost of insurance. In time, that should make it significantly lower.

Suggesting there is no good reason to pursue autonomous driving seems very myopic to me. In fact, a couple of generations from now, people will be amazed that today we risk our lives everyday on the roads, relying on nothing but human reflex and undependable human attention to driving.

P.S. — In case you hadn’t heard, distracted driving is on the rise every year. That’s why the death rate keeps going up despite the fact that cars are getting safer.

> But other than that I bought the car to drive not be driven.

It’s an option. It’s not being forced on you.

Is being stuck on just one planet such a depressing notion? Not half as depressing as waking up on a cold,dead, low gravity, radiation invested red planet that you can only ever watch from behind glass praying that your life support systems will hold up. If you have a view at all, dust storms on Mars can last for months and engulf the entire planet. Pretty sure any Mars colonist would soon find living on even the most hostile space on Antarctica infinitely preferable (and probably warmer…) as you at least get to go outside without having to put on an elaborate space suit once and a while.

So I don’t share this vision of Mars colonisation. Maybe someday mankind will invent a system of non linear travel like “wormholes” or something that will bring planets that unlike Mars could actually be made inhabitable within reach but until such time we will be a one planet species.

Well, at the risk of throwing a wet blanket on the idea of reaching for the stars and moving out into “the final frontier”, I have to agree. A realistic look at what Mars colonists would have to endure would make living in prison look like a paradise.

A much better idea, in my opinion, would be to build an O’Niell type colony in space for a “lifeboat” for our species, and work on terraforming Mars as a long-term project. It makes no sense to send people to Mars to live when they’d have to live underground, rarely venturing onto the surface; and the environmental problems such as Mars dust and extreme heat and cold would make living conditions there more difficult than in an O’Neill colony.

What we need to think about, and plan for, is how to terraform Mars before we try to colonize it. That will likely be very long-term project, but nothing wrong with that. It’s far past time for humanity to start thinking long-term instead of short-term!

Some corrections: Mars cannot be terraformed! Somewhere down the line it lost it’s magnetic core making it incapable of sustaining a substantial atmosphere or deflect space radiation for that matter.

Tragically, when Mars lost its magnetic core it lost all value for the human race so Elon Musk completely loses me when he talks about sending millions of people to Mars.

Also Mars is never hot. Temperatures max out somewhere around freezing.

This is mostly if not wholly incorrect. First — The fact that Mars would lose added atmosphere very slowly over time doesn’t mean it can’t be terraformed. It just means we would need to keep adding air and water to the planet. The easiest way would be to drop an ice-teroid onto the surface occasionally. Preferably a rain of small or mid-sized ones; that would be far better for the environment than big ones. (In fact, there is a steady bombardment of Earth by micro-comets, which certainly do add to the atmosphere and hydrosphere of our planet. So all we need to do is to artificially increase the amount of those which Mars receives over time. We could, for example, move a large ice-teroid into Mars orbit, and blow off an occasional rain of small chunks, directing them so that they would enter Mars’ atmosphere and melt before reaching the surface, thus coming down as rain rather than cratering the surface.) Second — The earth’s magnetic field isn’t stable, and switches polarity about every 50,000 years. During the years it’s switching, the magnetic field mostly disappears. You may note that we don’t have massive extinction events every 50,000 years. The… Read more »

Absolutely! It would be an amazing engineering feat to send people to Mars but building a new civilization there would be pointless. Sending a couple of people for scientific purposes sure but not a whole colony.

That’s right, we definitely should send a few scientists so mankind can scratch “visit Mars” from its to do list. After that just drones/robots.

I would love to go to Mars for the 3-6 month voyage there, and 18 month stay, and then I’m coming back on the 3-6 month voyage.

If the facilities built up there are good, the stay could be quite cool.

Living there permanently. Yeah right, anyone who believes that, will be screaming to come home after a few years. You don’t realize how wonderful a paradise Earth is, until you spend some time on Mars.

I love Elon Musk, dont take me wrong. But when it comes to tubing (this video + hyperloop), I think he is plain wrong as these options seems impossible economically speaking. They both would cost way too much to build, to use and to maintain.

The future of cars, is autonomous-car : you will move with your phone, not your car. You wont need to buy a car anymore to get access to a cheap one, you will just use an app of your phone. And as you wont own your own car anymore, you will be much more open to alternative options like public transport. So Elon Musk tunnels already exists, they are metros. And Elon Musk hyperloops is just plane or fast trains.

Putting hyperloop in tunnels underground would solve a couple of problems with the hyperloop concept so that might make some sense but these electric car skateboard idea is not going to work.

If cars are going to be autonomous in the future then I think cars will also look very different. I can see purpose-built autonomous pods instead of regular cars moving people around the city and these could be very optimized for size and density, i.e. they would be just about bigger than the cargo and they would communicate with each other so they can be right on the tail of each other, optimizing road utilization.

The reason the Hyperloop proposal uses tubes elevated on pylons, like Chicago’s “El” elevated light rail system, is because building that is far cheaper than digging tunnels.

Hyperloop is too expensive to be profitable? Well, that remains to be seen. Maybe… but maybe not! There are multiple companies trying to make the idea practical. Shouldn’t we wait to see if any of them succeed before pronouncing it impossible?

However, I don’t see Hyperloop ever being profitable enough to replace ordinary railroads and highways. Like high-speed railroads, it only makes sense to build something that expensive where there is a high volume of traffic to support the system.

One problem with above ground is thermal expansion. Pipelines use expansion loops, but passengers might object 🙂 They need some kind of expansion joint which maintains the vacuum.

Temperature is steady underground, but you’re right that a 3000 mile tunnel is outrageously expensive.

He is interesting to watch speak. He has to take huge concepts and boil them down to an everyday level. Interesting profile on the man behind the ideas https://www.forbes.com/profile/elon-musk/
Often wonder which of his ventures will be the most successful in my lifetime and how/if we will carry them on. Enjoyed the ted talk