Elon Musk Paving the Roads of Tomorrow
In what ways has Elon Musk revolutionized transportation technology? For the past few decades, not a lot has changed about the way people travel. Everyone has cars, trains, and planes that are powered by fossil fuels. While they have gradually gotten more efficient, these cars are still polluting the environment in production and in use. To get away from using fossil fuels, society is starting to consider renewable sources of energy for fuel, such as electricity. There are a few caveats to this kind of energy right now though, one mainly being the cost of it. Despite this fact, companies are trying to innovate with cars that take advantage of electric motors instead of gas powered ones. Just changing cars will not solve the pollution problem though. That problem requires much more action from many more industries. Another problem modern people have is with public transportation. While this mainly applies in urban areas, it is still an outstanding issue. Populations continue to grow in America and subways and trains can not keep up with the needs of all of the people who use them. Overcrowding and slow travel times make people want to reconsider taking these modes of transportation. Another mode of transportation that people are tired of is planes. The long flights in cramped spaces are enough to make anyone reconsider how they get to their destination. This is all about to change though. A certain billionaire is trying to change everything about the current transportation situation.
From cars to trains to rockets, Elon Musk has many plans for road transportation, earthly air transportation, and even private space travel. Elon Musk has revolutionized modern transportation technology for faster and more efficient travel, which will continue to advance society as a whole.Elon Musk has done a lot throughout his life to advance his career. He has had plenty of success in business and in life prior to his current ventures. (Kallen) He grew up in Pretoria, South Africa and started his interest in computers and technology at a young age. At age 12 he taught himself basic programming and sold a game that he made for five hundred dollars. He did not see a future for himself in South Africa so he moved to Canada at age seventeen to attend Queen’s University in Ontario. After Queen’s University, he transferred to the University of Pennsylvania and then to Stanford in California, ultimately dropping out after two days to pursue his dream of becoming an entrepreneur. This led to the first of many of his successful businesses. Elon Musk was not just an overnight success story after Stanford though; he had put in work for a few months with his brother, Kimbal, to start his first company, Zip2, which was the true start to Musk’s entrepreneurial career (Kallen). Zip2 was eventually acquired by Compaq for three hundred and seven million dollars, twenty-two million of it went straight to Elon Musk. With that money, Elon bought himself a fancy car and started a new online payment company by the name of X.com.
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This new company merged with another company called Confinity and turned into PayPal, which was then sold to eBay for a whopping one and a half billion dollars. With Elon’s share (one hundred and sixty-five million), he founded SpaceX in May of 2002, which is still running today. The success that he had in his early businesses translated into an overwhelmingly successful career. In Musk’s current occupation he has done quite well despite some drawbacks (Strauss). SpaceX and his even newer company, Tesla, have been doing well despite many delays and short funds. Elon Musk and his companies show no sign of slowing down or failing any time soon. Many people wonder how Musk has achieved so much in his lifetime and how he continues to do the same. His family believes that it simply runs in their genes. Tosca Musk once said, “Without sounding patronizing, it does seem that our family is different from other people. We risk more.” (Kallen). Elon’s sister states how the Musk family risks a lot to achieve their goals. This is shown quite obviously in Elon’s achievements and overall financial success.
As for what Elon is doing now, Tesla has been a huge step in new transportation.Elon Musk is revolutionizing electric motor vehicles with Tesla. One of the biggest problems with modern motor vehicles is the pollution that they cause to the environment. Tesla’s new electric cars give off little to no carbon emissions (Kallen). What is so important about Tesla’s new vehicles is not how they themselves are cleaner than current automobiles, but rather how they will inspire other manufacturers to start the production of cleaner cars as well. Tesla vehicles will change how everyone looks at using electricity as a cleaner source of power. In fact. new Tesla vehicles have already inspired more popular car manufacturers to phase out gasoline powered vehicles from their production lines (Strauss). Other car manufacturers leaving gasoline behind will change the entire automobile industry. In addition to normal civilian vehicles, Tesla is also aiming to reinvent the semi truck for a cleaner, safer, and more efficient backbone of product transportation (Wong). With semis that drive automatically, the highway could be much safer in the future by eliminating human error that results in so many accidents and even deaths every year. Along with Tesla’s passenger cars, new electric semis would also greatly reduce emissions of pollutants on the road.Elon Musk is also trying to completely change public transportation. He started yet another company by the name of “The Boring Company” with the idea of changing how people travel in large cities.
The Boring Company’s goal is to make public transportation much faster and cheaper with underground vacuum sealed tunnels. They started boring tunnels under LA in 2016 (Marshall). Underneath LA is a good start for Elon Musk’s tunnel boring efforts, as Los Angeles is a very large city where public transportation is used widely. Maryland’s Department of Transportation approved a proof of concept tunnel for testing in their state as well (Laris). Maryland’s allowance of Elon Musk’s test tunnel shows that the concept can be widely implemented for use throughout the country and not just in Los Angeles. The widespread adoption of this mode of transportation around the nation’s capital would make current transportation issues there a thing of the past. For example, a trip from New York to Washington would take only 29 minutes with this new system (Laris). Significantly faster travel times would make this project worth the cost to build. Also, because of the tunnels being vacuum sealed, no fossil fuels would be needed, making a ticket cheaper than current transportation for passengers. Urban transportation is not where Elon Musk stops, however. Private space travel is becoming more commonplace because of him. His company, SpaceX, has been launching satellites into orbit and even probes into outer space.
The goal for SpaceX is far different from launching satellites and probes though. Elon Musk plans to make space travel cheaper with a standard rocket (Baidawi). By making most space travel missions with the exact same type of rocket, Elon musk plans to make space travel more affordable. This would also cut down on costs for manufacturing and designing. The ultimate goal of SpaceX, which has been the goal since its creation, is a Mars mission (Baidawi). Normal citizens being able to go to Mars would be revolutionary. This would also open up possibilities of moving humanity further away from Earth. While mankind are all stuck here on its planet of origin though, Elon Musk has a plan for rockets to be used on Earth. Public earthly transportation is a shorter term goal for Elon Musk’s rockets (O’Kane). By using the same standardized rockets as mentioned previously, Elon Musk plans to have public transportation from one place on Earth to another. This would be expensive, but also a simple way to reach places that are far away. Literally anywhere on Earth could be reached in just under an hour with this technology.Society is fed up with the problems of today’s transportation, and is ready for a transportation revolution, Elon Musk is changing how people travel, which will continue to help society to get places faster and with more efficiency. He built his career from the ground up and is pioneering a new movement of electric vehicles, public transportation, and standardized rockets. At the current pace of innovation, it is hard to imagine where society will be (literally and figuratively) in the future.