Is Elon Musk realising the Venus Project? That’s a question I’ve been asking myself for a while now.
I came to know about Elon Musk and the projects he’s running when the Tesla Model S was announced. At the time he announced it might have looked too good to be true, especially when you consider the other car brands which were, from what it seemed, in the race to create the next would-be Fiat Multipla considering their looks. The Tesla Model S, on the other hand, nailed looks and performance completely. From that moment on my interest regarding his current and future projects started growing.
Elon Musk has got his ups and downs during his work on Tesla Motors and also on SpaceX. But he has always aimed to set up a more efficient way of doing things and to shake the current foundation of how things work, with the Tesla Model S. He has recently shown this with SpaceX which was the second commercial company to launch a rocket and have it land on Earth again against significantly lower costs.
The Venus Project
The combination of projects such as Tesla Motors, SpaceX, SpaceX Hyperloop, SolarCity and, most recently announced, OpenAI have got me thinking about another project that aims to better the world from a culture and technological perspective. This project is the Venus Project led by Jacque Fresco.
Jacque Fresco, together with Roxanne Meadows have started working on the Venus Project as of 1994 and has envisioned a world in which efficient technology, AI, clean energy and people work together to create a sustainable environment.
Let’s look at the projects Elon Musk is currently working on.
This project has been founded in 2003 by Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning, as of 2004 Elon Musk joined Tesla Motors’ board of directors as it’s chairman where he took an active role in the company.
The Tesla Roadster was released before the Tesla Model S which was released in 2012 in the US.
The release of the Tesla Model S have altered the car industry as we know it and other companies are struggling to be the first to release a good electric consumer car. Tesla Motors will announce more about the upcoming Tesla Model 3 later this year.
Known as of January 10th, 2016: Tesla has updated their cars with the “Summon” feature which allows you to summon your car to your current location. This however doesn’t mean that you can summon it from everywhere, the feature is currently limited to a range of 11 meters. Still this is an awesome upgrade!
The autonomous electric car has been envisioned by Jacque Fresco where a car would be able to drive itself but would also “know” when maintenance would be required. This would mean that the car would drive to a service point.
This company is not owned by Elon Musk but he is a chairman within the company. This company allows you to lease solar panels which allows for the home owner to reduce costs by paying a monthly bill rather than paying the full amount up front. SolarCity will also maintain and monitor the installed solar panels.
This way of distributing solar panels throughout the country allows for a faster adoption of solar panels which will get a sustainable environment one step closer.
A world in which all the energy comes from renewable resources has been envisioned by Jacque Fresco by implementing solar, geo thermal, underwater turbines to capture energy from waves and more.
Elon Musk has always been interested in rockets and thus he founded SpaceX in 2002 to create a inexpensive reusable rocket. They have achieved a first succesfull flight with the Falcon 9 on december 22nd, 2015.
Next to that Elon Musk is looking to setup a Mars mission to colonize Mars. However, this is a long term goal.
Space exploration and space stations have been envisioned by the Venus Project where the space stations would be able to monitor the Earth’s resources and to further increase the research of space in general.
The Venus Project is all about a global system where available resources are constantly being monitored to assure everybody has enough. When you need something but there aren’t enough resources, it will simply not be build.
In 2013 the concept of the Hyperloop has started and many people got interested. At the moment of writing a contest has been initiated to get university students and independent engineering teams to design and build the best Hyperloop Pod. The submissions have been closed as of the 15th of September, 2015.
High-speed (under)ground transportation has been seen by Jacque Fresco as a way of get from A to B in a fast and energy efficient way. Although it’s slightly different from the Hyperloop, Jacque Fresco envisions a tube train which races underground at very high speeds and allows for passenger compartments to be removed when arriving at the station while the train is still in motion. This would allow the train to keep driving while the passengers arrive at their location.
OpenAI which is a project created to get everybody acquinted with a Artificial Intelligence standard has been backed by Elon Musk. Combined the investors have injected the company with 1 billion dollar.
Although this isn’t directly led by Elon Musk I am still adding it to the list as it’s a key part of the Venus Project in which a lot of things are setup automatically and autonomously such as construction.
As a good example: In Dubai they have released the plans for the first 3D Printed office which is another step into an automatic world.
Although these projects show resemblance to the Venus Project it doesn’t have to mean anything. What it does mean is that Elon Musk and Jacque Fresco have envisioned the same (technological) idea’s for the future of planet Earth and it’s inhabitants where both of them are working towards a more sustainable and better place on Earth.
Talking about the future, I am looking forward to what Elon Musk might be thinking about as his next project. Might we see modular freighters or more efficient aircrafts?
What do you think?