🚦 Ready for AI traffic lights?
Tesla tries to defeat traffic… SpaceX makes Starlink safer... Elon Musk advocates for oil.
Tesla tries to defeat traffic… SpaceX makes Starlink safer... Elon Musk advocates for oil. It’s the free edition of Musk Reads #288.
And for our premium subscribers — last week, you heard from Jeroen Cappaert, Spire chief technology officer and co-founder, to find out more about how the company is helping to clear up space debris. This week, you’ll hear from Harvard University professor Jill Lepore about the ideology of "Muskism."
Musk quote of the week:
“You are my favorite hello, / And my hardest goodbye.” — Elon Musk tweeted on March 7 at 2:49 a.m. Eastern time. It doesn’t seem like commenters know who Musk is referring to in the tweet, and Musk himself hasn’t given any hints. I can only assume the tweet is about Musk Reads.
Tesla: Defeating traffic
Musk’s past few days marked another tweet-spree, but this one focused mostly on discussing various big-picture questions and offering his solution to them. One big theme was traffic, which Musk wrote on March 6 “is the ultimate boss battle. Even the most powerful humans in the world cannot defeat traffic.”
Musk also emphasized his belief that fully autonomous vehicles and tunnels will help alleviate traffic, though the Boring Company’s Tesla tunnel in Las Vegas is also afflicted by soul-sucking traffic.
In any case, Musk has thoughts. That same day, Musk mused about Tesla making an A.I. “vision device that plugs into these legacy traffic lights. It could just look at traffic & automatically maximize throughput.” Earlier, Musk had wrote that even “some of the best AI software engineers in the world don’t realize how advanced Tesla AI has become.” So, what do you say — are you ready for Tesla Traffic?
SpaceX: Jamming Starlink
Musk also shared an important Starlink update on March 4, tweeting that SpaceX has “reprioritized to cyber defense & overcoming signal jamming,” which will “cause slight delays in Starship & Starlink V2.”
As a reminder, Starlink is currently operational in Ukraine, and Musk describes terminals near conflict zones as being susceptible to jamming “for several hours at a time.”
Controversially, Musk has also taken a hard stance against blocking Russian news sources, which he says “some governments” have asked him to do. “We will not do so unless at gunpoint,” Musk said. “Sorry to be a free speech absolutist.”
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10. Interestingly, Elon Musk is calling for an immediate increase in gas and oil output. Do you agree with him?
9. Because of an issue in the “back-end systems of some vehicles,” said Tesla, one Supercharger user in China was hit with a $608,708 charging bill, banning him from further Supercharger use until the bill got paid. InsideEVs reports that the issue “will be fixed.”
8. Journalist Cory Doctorow created an informative Twitter thread on March 7 diving into the U.S.’ relationship to broadband. He calls it “horrific.”
7. Good news for people who hate Tesla’s yoke, which used to have its horn function attached to a small button on the side — Musk says that all cars “made since November [...] have push center for horn – just waiting on firmware update.” No more side horn.
6. One of Musk’s favorite video games, Cyberpunk 2077, was issued a giant refresh in February. Read Inverse’s guide to playing. Nomad, street kids, and corpos, oh my.
5. To celebrate just over a year on Mars, NASA’s Perseverance rover crunching on some more rocks. It’s looking for ancient life.
4. In Russian, former NASA astronaut Scott Kelly told the head of Russia’s Roscosmos space program to “get a job at McDonald’s, if McDonald’s still exists in Russia.” The girls are fighting.
3. Currently, experts do not believe that Putin poses a nuclear threat. But if Russia does eventually decide to utilize its nuclear stockpile, the world would be devastated. Don’t worry about it just yet.
2. Musk wants Europe to use more nuclear energy. He’ll even happily travel to the current “worst location” for radiation and “eat locally grown food on TV.” Mutant banana pancakes.
1. And a piece of Musk history: Notably, Elon Musk visited Fukushima, Japan in 2011, shortly after the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant was severely damaged by an earthquake and tsunami and began to leak radiation. To help the area recover, Musk donated $250,000 to help build a solar energy system in the ruined city. “We are grateful to Elon Musk,” said then-Soma City mayor Hidekiyo Tachiya.
The ultra-fine print
This has been Musk Reads #288, the weekly rundown of essential reading about futurist and entrepreneur Elon Musk. I’m Ashley Bardhan, newsletter writer at Inverse.
Email Ashley directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter at @ashleybardhan.
Follow Inverse on Twitter at @inversedotcom.
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Musk Reads+ is a fully independent operation. We are not Elon Musk, nor are we employed by him. Our job is to report the events we find worthy of a story, giving you an inside look at the worlds of space rockets, electric cars, clean energy, and more. It means firsthand accounts of a SpaceX rocket launch, Tesla insights from third-party analysts, and more.