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Elon Musk says he wants the new Tesla Roadster to be able to hover 'without, you know, killing people'

Business Insider logo Business Insider 2/12/2021 insider@insider.com (Isobel Asher Hamilton)
Elon Musk standing in a parking lot: Tesla CEO Elon Musk. Odd Andersen/AFP via Getty Images © Odd Andersen/AFP via Getty Images Tesla CEO Elon Musk. Odd Andersen/AFP via Getty Images
  • Elon Musk said he wanted the next Roadster to be able to hover "like a meter" off the ground.
  • He told Joe Rogan he was trying to work out how to do this "without, you know, killing people."
  • Musk has already promised some versions of the Roadster will come with rocket thrusters.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Elon Musk has claimed he wants to make the next Roadster able to hover off the ground.

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The Tesla CEO appeared on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast on Thursday, when the host asked about the next generation of the high-end Tesla Roadster electric car.

Musk, who has a history of making grand, futuristic promises on Tesla he does not always keep, replied: "I want it to hover, and I was trying to figure out how to make this thing hover without, you know, killing people." 

"I thought maybe we could make it hover but not too high. Maybe it can hover like a meter above the ground, or something like that. If you plummet, it'll blow out the suspension, but you're not gonna die," he added.

Musk said the company was finishing the engineering on the Roadster this year, which will "hopefully" start shipping in 2022, echoing a tweet he sent late last month.

"We're going to throw some rocket technology in that car," Musk said.

This isn't the first time Musk has said the Roadster will have rocket functionality. In 2018 he tweeted there would be a version of the car with a "SpaceX option package" with "ten small rocket thrusters".

Read more: Rivian uses one of Elon Musk's favorite job-interview techniques to determine which candidates stand out

Musk told Rogan the standard Roadster would have two small back seats similar to a Porsche, while a SpaceX option package would have "a bunch of thrusters' in place of the two rear seats.

"At minimum, I'm confident we could do a thruster where the licence place flips down James Bond-style with a rocket thruster behind it, and that gives you three times the thrust," Musk said, clarifying this would be on the ground.

In 2016, Musk predicted Tesla would make a car able to do a "demonstration drive of full autonomy all the way from LA to New York" by 2017.

Teslas come with a "full self-driving" mode but the company stipulates that this requires a "fully attentive driver, who has their hands on the wheel and is prepared to take over at any moment."

Musk's comments were made during his third appearance on Rogan's podcast.

In September 2018, Musk caused controversy when he smoked marijuana and drank whiskey with the host during a two-hour live conversation about productivity.

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