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Will we soon be able to travel from New York to Shanghai in just over 30 Minutes in a Rocket?

And guess what! The cost per seat should be about the same as full fare economy in an aircraft!

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ROCKET
Billionaire entrepreneur and founder of SpaceX Elon Musk speaks below a computer-generated illustration of his new rocket at the 68th International Astronautical Congress 2017 in Adelaide, Australia. (VOA)

Australia, October 3, 2017 : U.S. billionaire innovator Elon Musk has unveiled plans for a new rocket that would allow passengers to travel from one continent to another in about 30 minutes.

At a presentation Friday in Adelaide, Australia, Musk showed a video of images of a rocket taking off in New York and landing in various places around the world, including Tokyo and Shanghai.

He said the New York-Shanghai trip could be done in 39 minutes, while a trip from Bangkok to Dubai would take 27 minutes and Tokyo to Delhi would be 30 minutes.

He added that the cost per seat should be about the same as full fare economy in an aircraft.

Musk noted there is no weather outside the Earth’s atmosphere to interfere with travel times and said that once you are beyond the atmosphere, “it would be as smooth as silk, no turbulence, nothing.”

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“If we are building this thing to go to the moon and Mars, then why not go to other places on Earth as well?” Musk said.

Musk, who founded and runs the company SpaceX along with the electric luxury car company Tesla, has long been making plans for rockets to travel to Mars.

Musk said SpaceX plans its first trip to Mars in 2022, carrying only cargo with a key mission to find the best source of water on the Red Planet. That mission would be followed by the first manned mission in 2024. He said the company was aiming to start construction on the first spaceship in the next six to nine months.

Musk said space flights to enable people to travel from one continent to another could help to pay for future missions to Mars.

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Self-driving Tesla Cars Coming Soon: Tesla CEO Elon Musk

"Tesla made zero cars in 2011, but will make around 500,000 cars in 2019"

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Tesla CEO Elon musk, board
Tesla CEO Elon Musk. (VOA)

In yet another bold statement, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has announced that the company’s full self-driving feature will be completed by the end of this year.

By the end of 2020, the electric car maker’s self-driving feature will be so capable that one can even snooze in the driver seat while the car takes the person to the desired destination, the Wired quoted Musk as saying on Wednesday.

“I think we will be ‘feature complete’ on full self-driving this year, meaning the car will be able to find you in a parking lot, pick you up, take you all the way to your destination without an intervention this year,” Musk said during a podcast interview.

“I am certain of that. That is not a question mark.”

Musk’s revised timeline could be great news for Tesla buyers who have been waiting for the driverless feature for years.

Tesla said that every car produced since October 2016 has all the hardware needed to drive itself.

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Visitors inspect Tesla electric cars at Brussels Motor Show, Belgium, Jan. 18, 2019. VOA

Between October 2016 and October 2018, customers could even pay an extra $3,000 or so for a “full self-driving” feature, which Tesla promised they would eventually be able to unlock via a software update.

In January 2017, Musk said elements of that feature would start rolling out in three to six months. However, that did not happen.

In the podcast interview, Musk cautioned that it will take the company another year to get to the point where its cars can completely drive themselves.

“People sometimes will extrapolate (“feature complete”) to mean now (full self-driving) works with 100 per cent certainty, requiring no observation, perfectly. This is not the case,” he was quoted as saying.

Musk said that Tesla drivers would be able to fall asleep and wake up at their destinations using full self-drive by the end of 2020.

spaceX
SpaceX founder and chief executive Elon Musk, left, announces Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa (R) as the first private passenger on a trip around the moon. VOA

Until then, drivers will have to continue to monitor the technology and be ready to take control of the wheel if something goes wrong, the report said.

In another tweet, Musk said that Tesla made zero cars in 2011 but will produce 10,000 cars per week in 2019.

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“Tesla made zero cars in 2011, but will make around 500,000 cars in 2019”.

“Meant to say annualised production rate at end of 2019 probably around 500k, ie 10k cars/week. Deliveries for year still estimated to be about 400k,” he tweeted. (IANS)