Tesla CEO and SpaceX founder Elon Musk is never short on targeting ideas for the next big thing and his accomplishments so far in electric automotive design and reusable spacecraft have proven that point. Never one to rest on his past achievements, Musk's gaze is always aimed at the horizon, with inspiring and sometimes wild ideas for humankind's advancements in technology and engineering.
After launching one of his iconic Tesla Roadsters with a spacesuit-clad mannequin nicknamed "Starman" into space back in 2018, the intrepid vehicle made a flyby of Mars this past October when it streaked past the Red Planet at a distance of just under five million miles.
This odd odyssey starring one of the visionary billionaire's autos must have struck a nerve as Musk is now thinking of potential upgrades and modifications to the car that might deliver similar hover-like capabilities to future models as seen in films like director Ridley Scott's Blade Runner and the Star Wars Saga.
During a recent appearance on The Joe Rogan Experience podcast, Musk commented that he'd love to have upcoming Tesla Roadster hover "like a meter above the ground." Musk always makes the most of his visits to Rogan's online program and it's usually a treasure of interesting antics and sound bites.
"Maybe it can hover like a meter above the ground, or something like that,” he explained to the popular comedian and host. “If you plummet, it'll blow out the suspension, but you're not gonna die."
Clearly not completely satisfied with the Roadster's current roster of options, Musk has previously claimed that a next-generation version might be offered with a SpaceX package with rocket-like thrusters employing pressurized air to assist in acceleration, deceleration, and handling.
While this notion sounds fantastic as an off-the-cuff remark while participating in a casual podcast, the real-world logistics and development might be something to reconsider. Today's hover technology does not mesh with producing a floating electric car using methods Musk proposed, but there could be opportunities in the arena of magnetic levitation, where both roads and vehicles could be paired to produce the desired effect.
Might Musk have already conceived a system of this nature? We wouldn't bet against him but only time will tell.