What Did Elon Musk Invent? (Explained)

Elon Musk attends The 2022 Met Gala
(Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue)

 

Elon Musk has proven himself to be one of the biggest influences on modern technology and has helped popularize many pre-existing technologies.

Through his electric vehicle company, Tesla, Musk has proven that electric cars can be just as functional and exciting as the traditional fossil fuel-powered competition.

As a businessman, Musk has forced his competition to innovate their own products and processes by leading the charge in new technological areas.

The inventions that Musk made before he was a household name have greatly shaped how society functions today.

 

What Did Elon Musk Invent?

SpaceX owner and Tesla CEO Elon Musk
(Photo by Britta Pedersen-Pool/Getty Images)

 

Elon Musk’s most important inventions include parts of his nearly self-driving cars and different computer programs that have helped his digital creations like Zip2 and MyWay.Com.

One of the most important patents that Musk holds is for the processor that allows his electric cars to geographically find their drivers when summoned while still obeying the rules of the road system.

This processor uses a machine learning model to generate an accurate environmental representation, allowing the car to use data collected from its sensor to safely self-drive.

Elon Musk has also invented a virtual system to answer messages sent via the fax machine, which is done by allowing a fax message sender to transmit their fax using a receipt identification code to the proper server running the system.

In relation to Musk’s first hit business, Zip2, the innovator created a system that would allow phone calls to be initiated over the internet.

Although modern internet phone calls are commonplace even on social media, Musk was revolutionary for combining aspects from both the Internet of the time and the Public Switched Telephone Network.

Another invention of Musk’s to come out of his time working on Zip2 was his interactive network directory service with maps and directions built in.

This invention was the inspiration for commonplace programs like Google Maps used by modern internet citizens.

While Elon Musk was working on MyWay.Com Corporation, he created an apparatus that could create a search category based on a person’s geographical location.

This apparatus allowed for advanced searches that scoped the internet first based on the category and then searched a second time using heuristics to increase the search radius.

 

What Did Elon Musk Invent As A Child?

Elon Musk, CEO and CTO of SpaceX
(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

 

Elon Musk invented the space age video game Blastar back when he was only 12 years old back in 1984 while growing up in South Africa.

This game proves that space travel has been on Musk’s mind ever since he was a child.

Blastar was a simple, static shoot-em-up for personal computers that was similar to games such as Galaga or Galaxian.

Young Musk sold the simple game for $500 to PC and Office Technology, a popular magazine for tech-savvy consumers of the 1980s.

Although this game never saw any physical copies created for distribution, Google software engineer Tomas Lloret Llinares was able to recreate Musk’s game and release it for mobile devices.

Llinares got the code for the game from a page in Ashlee Vance’s biography Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future.

Blastar tells the story of a lonely space pilot who must eliminate an alien freighter filled with hydrogen bombs and status beam machines.

The gameplay is most like Asteroids or Space Invaders but is much simpler.

Blastar is considered to be a very easy shoot-em-up because there are never more than two enemy ships on the screen at once, and it features simple, repetitive attacks.

Similar to many other homemade personal computer games, Musk’s game lacks many sound effects or music.

Players who are patient enough are able to play Blastar infinitely because the game isn’t programmed to have an end.

Although the game may seem unimpressive by today’s standards or even compared to games that were already out in 1984, this game takes on a whole new meaning when you remember that a self-taught, 12-year-old programmer made it by himself.

Musk has gone from programming fictional spaceships to creating and building an entire fleet of his own real-life rockets.

 

Did Elon Musk Found Tesla?

Tesla CEO Elon Musk speaks during a press conference

 

No, Elon Musk is not the founder of his popular electric car company Tesla.

The Tesla Company we know today was actually founded by Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning in July of 2003.

The company kept their work private for three years while they were working on the Tesla Roadster, which they’d release in 2006 with Musk’s help.

Musk didn’t join the company until his massive investment in 2004 which earned him the role of chairman of the board.

Before starting Tesla, Eberhard and Tarpenning had collaborated to make the Rocket E-Reader, which was one of the first e-readers available to the general public.

Inspired by Eberhard’s love of sports cars, the pair decided that their next invention was going to be an electric car.

Eberhard was the one who proposed the use of lithium-ion batteries for their cars and recommended the EV startup AC Propulsion seen in the Tesla Roadster.

The co-founders based their electric car’s design on the Lotus Elise.

They had originally attempted to pitch their idea to Lotus, but the high-end car company wasn’t certain that these innovators with no experience in the automotive industry could actually create a reliable product.

Luckily for Eberhard and Tarpenning, they had recently met Elon Musk at a Mars Society conference and knew that he had the money to spare for their project.

Although Musk wasn’t certain at first, he eventually gave Tesla $6.35 million of their $6.5 million Series A funding round.

Musk became CEO in 2008, but his rise to power within the company was contested by Martin Eberhard, who believed that Musk was mismanaging the company.

Eberhard was removed from Tesla shortly after his public remarks.

Marc Tarpenning is also no longer with Tesla, but he remains on good terms with Elon Musk.

 

Why Could Elon Musk Be Forced To Buy Twitter?

Twitter is an online social networking and microblogging service that enables users to send and read tweets

 

Elon Musk may be forced to buy Twitter because he has already contractually agreed to purchase the social media platform.

Twitter plans to force Musk to stay true to his agreement by suing him.

As the buyer of a business, Musk does have the right to any of the information he asks for before making his purchase.

With Musk publicly claiming that Twitter refuses to give him the information he needs to make an educated business decision, the inventor believes that he has the right to back out of the deal.

From Musk’s perspective, it’s instead Twitter that first broke the terms of the agreement.

The information that Musk is asking for is about spam and bot social media accounts on the platform because Musk is trying to get an accurate total of active users.

Twitter claims that bot and spam accounts make up less than 5% of all the accounts on the platform, but Musk believes that number is much higher.

When Musk contested their statistics in front of them, Twitter responded with more information about their users such as how many tweets are sent per day.

By responding this way, Twitter is essentially telling Musk that if he doesn’t believe the number they gave him, then he should figure it out himself.

Critics of Twitter believe that this is not the kind of behavior you see out of a company with nothing to hide, while supporters of Twitter say that this answer is the result of having nothing to hide.

In a court of law, Twitter has fulfilled their information requirement.

Musk is going to have a hard time proving that Twitter is lying and that they’re the ones who have broken the terms of the agreement, even if Twitter’s estimate is underrepresented.

 

Why Does Elon Musk Want To Nuke Mars?

SpaceX owner and Tesla CEO Elon Musk poses on the red carpet of the Axel Springer Award
(Photo by Hannibal Hanschke-Pool/Getty Images)

 

Elon Musk wants to strike Mars with thousands of nuclear missiles because he believes that the nuclear aftermath could actually help make Mars’s environment livable for humanity.

While most people fear the results of nuclear fallout, Musk believes that it will open the path to terraforming Mars.

In an interview with a Russian space officer from the Russian news agency Tass, the officer felt that Musk wouldn’t have the firepower necessary to terraform Mars.

He theorized that Musk would need at least 10,000 nuclear missiles to have a large enough impact on Mars’s long-term environment.

Fans of Elon Musk were excited to see how he would respond to the claims made by the space officer, to which he simply responded, “No problem.”

For a man worth more money than he could ever spend, testing his theory on Mars was more than worth the price of those 10,000 nuclear missiles.

As a firm believer that humanity’s future relies on alternative planets such as Mars, it was shocking to the public when Musk began promoting the “Nuke Mars” idea.

He even sells t-shirts with the slogan on them.

Although the price of 10,000 nuclear missiles may be nothing to Musk, that’s more than any single country owns and makes up a majority of the nuclear warheads currently existing around the world.

There are currently 13,335 nuclear warheads on the planet, with a little over 12,000 of those warheads belonging to both the United States and Russia.

Even if Musk could figure out how to get his hands on 10,000 nuclear missiles, he can’t legally own them as a civilian.

Musk would most likely have to convince multiple countries to contribute their nukes to a SpaceX-led project to terraform Mars, but that is highly implausible.

 

Why Does Elon Musk Have So Many Children?

SpaceX owner and Tesla CEO Elon Musk
(Photo by Britta Pedersen-Pool/Getty Images)

 

Elon Musk has chosen to have so many children because his biggest fear about the modern world is the declining birth rate, which he believes is an even bigger problem than the potential of artificial intelligence taking over humanity.

Despite being 51 years old, Musk currently has nine living children.

He had five children with his first ex-wife Justine Willis, two children with Canadian singer Grimes, and another two children with Neuralink executive Shivon Zilis.

According to Tesla’s CEO, the United States birth rate has been below the minimum sustainability for about the past 50 years.

He feels that he is simply doing his part to solve the problem.

Since becoming more involved in the world of wealth, Musk has been appalled by the trend of wealthy couples only having a couple of children.

Musk has frequently spoken about this familiar trend among the wealthy families that he knows.

He has found that the richer a person has, the more likely they are to have fewer children even in the highest income bracket.

Elon Musk has publicly discussed his disappointment in people who don’t want children, finding the sheer number of people who are firmly against having children to be shocking.

When fans of Musk have asked the businessman how he recommends solving the birth rate problem, he has simply answered, “Have kids!”

Although Musk is a firm believer in producing plenty of children, he has admitted in previous interviews that he doesn’t play a big role in his children’s lives especially while they’re still at a young age.

Musk’s relationship with his older children has even been brought into question in recent years due to the inventor’s young adult daughter wanting to distance herself from her father.

She plans to change her last name to her mother’s maiden name.

 

Why Does Elon Musk Hate Public Transit?

Cable car in San Francisco

 

Elon Musk hates public transit because he doesn’t like to be stuck in a cramped space with strangers while potentially sitting on a dirty seat or touching a dirty handrail.

He also doesn’t appreciate the way public transit wastes his time going to a variety of locations that aren’t even always near his destination.

Musk worries about the fact that he never knows who could be riding in public transit alongside him, especially with the fear of one of the fellow travelers becoming violent.

With individual transit, Musk is able to waste less time and ensure that his space is clean.

He also doesn’t have to worry about the potential for rowdy travelers while driving in a personal vehicle.

When asked about the Japanese train system, Musk responded by plainly stating “What, where they cram people in the subway? That doesn’t sound great.”

Elon Musk’s response made people consider what Musk genuinely thought about the Boring Company’s Hyperloop project.

A representative from the Boring Company had to make a public announcement to clarify what Musk meant by his comment.

According to the Boring Company representative, Musk wasn’t criticizing mass transportation and was instead criticizing public transportation.

The Boring Company isn’t publicly-funded and doesn’t plan to use the Hyperloop for public transit.

The Boring Company is trying to innovate mass transport, fixing the critiques that Musk has stated about public transit in the past.

Neither Musk nor his company believes that mass transit should have been as unclean and crowded as it is today.

Similar to how Musk and the Tesla Company forced its competition to innovate in the automotive industry, Musk and the Boring Company plan to use their highly-advanced mass transit to force public transit systems to improve their services.

Currently, the Hyperloop is still in development.

 

Is Elon Musk Still Working On The Hyperloop?

Hypertube concept

 

Yes, Elon Musk is still working on the Hyperloop despite progress on this Boring Company project has been coming along slowly.

Musk first announced his idea for the Hyperloop in 2013 after getting stuck in traffic and frustratingly posting his idea on Twitter while he waited.

The original idea for the Hyperloop consisted of a high-speed railway line that would stretch the length of California.

Instead of having the traditional single train, the Hyperloop is planned to consist of pods containing small numbers of passengers that would then be shot through a 13-foot wide enclosed metal tube that created a vacuum-like effect.

Without the same amount of friction that traditional bullet trains experience, Musk has estimated that the Hyperloop will be capable of launching its travelers at speeds as high as 760 miles per hour.

This means that a traveler could get from Los Angeles to San Francisco in about 35 minutes.

Elon Musk considers the Hyperloop to be an “open source” project similar to the operating system Linux.

Musk is not the first person to propose the idea for the Hyperloop or any of the technologies used to create it.

The idea to use air propulsion comes from the 1799 inventor George Medhurst, and the idea for the railway itself comes from the 1844 engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel, who was the engineer behind the first propeller-driven transatlantic steamship.

In the same way that Musk took ideas from brilliant minds of the past, there have been multiple companies to take on Musk’s idea, such as Virgin Hyperloop.

Virgin Hyperloop was able to give a public demonstration of their Hyperloop technology in 2020 when they successfully gave their employees a ride on their test track.

However, the Boring Company was the first company to test their Hyperloop in 2016, on a smaller track.

 

Did Elon Musk Really Go Missing?

Elon Musk, founder and chief engineer of SpaceX
(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

 

No, Elon Musk is not missing and instead simply took a break from posting on social media, despite his penchant for frequent posting.

Prior to taking his break from social media, Musk was discussing how poorly the Twitter deal was going.

Fans were swiftly on the hunt for their favorite innovator, which resulted in one user claiming that she had seen Musk at the Tesla Gigafactory located in Texas and that he seemed to be behaving like himself.

Rather than seeming frustrated about the state of his recent business deal, Musk seemed to be focusing on his work.

People familiar with the business world believed that Musk was simply too busy to post on social media because it was the end of the quarter, which is an incredibly busy time for Tesla as they are trying their best to hit the necessary shipment and sales numbers that their CEO expects.

Around the same time, Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies Corporation was launching another rocket.

Amongst all that career chaos, it was also the businessman’s 51st birthday.

From the sheer amount of work that Elon Musk has already thrust upon himself by playing such an active role in his multiple companies, it’s shocking that he can ever find a moment to post on social media.

As a man motivated by efficiency, it makes sense that Musk would temporarily cut out the part of his day that is the least productive.

Musk has since returned to social media, despite his ongoing business feud with Twitter.

Nothing is going to keep Musk from voicing his opinion, not even a bad business deal.

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