You sometimes get the impression that Tesla CEO Elon Musk says wild things just to gauge people's reactions. You have to be crazy to think that the Hyperloop is ever going to happen. Train travel is barely accepted in much of the country. Recently, he boasted in an interview with Britain's The Independent newspaper that he could build a flying car and a submersible one. If he's to be believed this time, one of them might actually happen.

"We could definitely make a flying car – but that's not the hard part. The hard part is, how do you make a flying car that's super safe and quiet? Because if it's a howler, you're going to make people very unhappy," said Musk to the newspaper. Obviously, the flying car has been an automotive dream for decades, but it has always been so disappointing. Even the long-delayed Terrafugia Transition needs a runway to takeoff and can't just pop in an out of traffic like we all want.

While the flying car likely remains a pipe dream, Musk seems much more serious about the prospects of a vehicle that can go underwater. He told The Independent: "We will be making a submarine car. It can transition from being a submarine to a car that drives up on the beach. Maybe we'll make two or three, but it wouldn't be more than that." The man does have some experience in this area. He bought the submersible Lotus Esprit last year from the James Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me, and planned to install a Tesla Model S powertrain in it. Now, let's see if either of these big ideas ever comes to fruition.


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  • 46 Comments
      Carlove215
      • 11 Months Ago
      Flying cars, I believe it when I see it, people can't drive the cars they have now...
        Joeviocoe
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Carlove215
        Autopilot (autonomous cars) will be common way before flying cars... Think quadcopter that carries people.
      Stinkyboy
      • 11 Months Ago
      "OR"? I wish he could make a combi vehicle. then you can travel the world!
      ffelix422
      • 11 Months Ago
      I like Elon's feistiness. A modern day John Delorean with balls, cash, (and know how) to back it up.
      Keef Wivaneff
      • 11 Months Ago
      Mad as a meat axe......but a lot more dangerous!
      Smooth Motor
      • 11 Months Ago
      How about an AFFORDABLE EV?
      to your email L
      • 11 Months Ago
      Sorry he's not the 1st with the 'flying car' Moller has one close to production. google it. Sorry everything Elon pontificates about is not that great, I doubt if many will find the 'hyperloop' something they would want to travel in. Oh yeah he hasn't done much for reducing income inequality. Are his workers at the Tesla Factory in Fremont decently paid and benefited (and maybe unionized) so they could afford to buy a house in the SF Bay area on one income anywhere other than maybe East Palo Alto? C'mon media do your journalism not PR.
        DraGuLa
        • 11 Months Ago
        @to your email L
        I was with you until the income inequality comment. Why is that the first thing jealous-minded people point out? I'm sure the workers at his factory are paid a fair wage for what they do. And I'm sure there's a pay scale based on their skill level...as it should be. Back on topic...there will likely never be flying cars.
      porosavuporo
      • 11 Months Ago
      ABG: we obsessively cover .. oh sod it, lets just talk tesla all day long.
      usa1
      • 11 Months Ago
      Flying car advocates, answer this one for me: Would you want your neighbor's teenagers driving flying cars around your house?
      cpmanx
      • 11 Months Ago
      Flying cars, like jetpacks, are physically possible but practically absurd. As Joeviocoe noted below, the amount of energy consumed is horrendous. The safety issues are daunting, even with the inevitable (essential) auto-pilot. And even if it all worked, where and how would you use it? Presumably it needs to be VTOL (vertical takeoff and landing) so you don't need an airfield, but think about the sound of your next-door neighbor constantly taking off from his driveway. Think about all the leaves and dust blowing into your house. The flying car captures people's imagination for its ability to soar above traffic, but just imagine the logistics of trying to use one in a dense urban area. It makes no sense. Musk knows all this, and is clearly just playing around. There are interesting engineering problems to tackle in making a (better) flying car or submersible car, and those solutions might lead to worthy tech advances. A flying car in your driveway will not be one of them.
        Dave
        • 11 Months Ago
        @cpmanx
        You're not thinking like a billionaire entrepreneur. Musk makes toys for rich people who can afford them. If you're rich enough for a flying car, you and your friends have enormous yards to land in. And you have plenty of money for fuel. Musk may have seen some of the existing work in light VTOL craft: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=emK-qIbuJ-k https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Ovsgui4YWs https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L75ESD9PBOw Given todays computing power and, perhaps with a methanol fuel cell, one of these toys could work.
          cpmanx
          • 11 Months Ago
          @Dave
          But that hasn't been Musk's approach, and that's not what he says in the interview. Musk enjoys a technological challenge for its own sake, and that's exactly how he describes both the flying car and the submersible. Quoted in the original article: "Maybe we'll make a flying car, just for fun." With both SpaceX and Tesla, he's been aiming for market transformation, not for executive toys. Musk understands that the potential market for the flying car is tiny, and shows no interest in getting distracted from his much bigger plans.
        Space
        • 11 Months Ago
        @cpmanx
        Thanks dream ruiner cpmanx. How bout I just one of my own and you stay out the skies.
          Space
          • 11 Months Ago
          @Space
          And practical or not some of us just want to see our dreams come true.
          cpmanx
          • 11 Months Ago
          @Space
          Musk created the world's most practical and pleasurable electric car. He's ending US dependence on Russia to get to the Space Station, and he's developing a reusable rocket that could revolutionize access to space. Why do those things not count as dreams achieved? I think you are the one trying to ruin the dream, dismissing Musk's amazing achievements because you want something that is practically infeasible and, frankly, kind of pointless.
          Space
          • 11 Months Ago
          @Space
          I'm talking about my dream of having a flying car. Musk is great.
      danfred311
      • 11 Months Ago
      A flying car is easy. Lifting body in similar design to solar cars with a ducted fan behind driver. The key is light weight. Actually light weight, not a moron's light weight of 1000kg. But can he wake up and realize that UFOs are real ET ships and that it has been covered up for over 70 years and that his rocketry endeavors are naive... because they are.
        lendersmith
        • 11 Months Ago
        @danfred311
        Take another hit and go have a nap.
        Technoir
        • 11 Months Ago
        @danfred311
        Your comments about lightweight construction are fine, but please spare us the nonsense about ET ships, aliens living among us, and govt - alien conspiracies.
          danfred311
          • 11 Months Ago
          @Technoir
          like a good little sheep, you don't want to know? because it's actually real, my simple friend. try to think about where you are right now. you're on a planet in space, orbiting a star in a vast ancient ocean of more star systems than grains of sand on all the beaches of the world. Of course we are not alone. Even if you ignore the hundreds of millions of witnesses of these craft. They were always here. 50 years ago. 500 years ago. 2000 years ago, a million years ago.
      usa1
      • 11 Months Ago
      I get the feeling that Elon has a need to be in the headlines at least once a week or he fears he will be forgotten. Even when he has nothing to say, he says something to get in the news.
      Joeviocoe
      • 11 Months Ago
      I have really been hating the Autoblog comment system the last couple of years... for anyone who is familiar with the AOL system... it is horrible to navigate, impossible to edit or click hyperlinks, frequently double-posts or freezes when submitting. Unfortunately most of these problems are server-side and I cannot do anything about that. No, I cannot do anything about the lack of an Edit feature, nor fix the buggy server-side submission of comments. But I hope you will find this as helpful as I have. But I did write my first Javascript code to at least make it much easier to navigate. --Expand/collapse ALL comments and replies. --Highlight and scroll through your own comments. (click on your Avatar icon in the corner) --Highlight Recent comments with increasing emphasis on newer posts. Please feel free to play around with the features... Although the script should not interfere at all with normal functions this is a work in progress, so please leave a comment at the OpenUserJS.org page under 'issues'. I have tested this with Chrome v35 running Tampermonkey. This script requires either Firefox or Chrome... and the Browser Extension Greasemonkey or Tampermonkey. Once the browser extension is installed... go to https://openuserjs.org/scripts/joeviocoe/Autoblog_Comments ... and "Install". The script will run only when you browse to autoblog.com Thanks for your time... and thank you if you are able to try/test this for continued improvement.
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