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HolidayBuyer's Guide

5-minute commutes? Colonies on Mars? AI that won't kill us? Hey, thanks, Elon!

Car elevators

Getting cars off the street

Underground people transporters

Godot is here

Snail of the future

Hyperloop: For long hauls

Only 3 years away?

To Mars and beyond

Is this life on Mars?

Mars or bust

Moon tourism

More Teslas ahead

Really big Teslas are coming

Brains talking directly to computers

Treating serious brain diseases

Roofs made entirely of solar tiles

They're shatter-resistant, too

Electric batteries for everybody

And even electric batteries for your business

Electricity for everybody!

OpenAI: Teaching bots to think

You probably know Elon Musk as the guy who makes Tesla electric cars or maybe as the billionaire who dreams of launching a Mars colony.

But his projects don't end there. Hate traffic gridlock? Do you fear that Skynet will turn us all into human batteries? Fret not. Musk wants to tackle alllllll of it.

Caption by / Photo by Lily Lawrence/Getty Images

Musk's Boring Company, founded in late 2016, wants to turn 2D traffic jams into 3D, underground road networks. His plan? Bore tunnels under the Earth, and then use elevators to whisk cars below the street and into high-speed tunnels.

Caption by / Photo by The Boring Co.

Musk successfully tested this car elevator in June outside SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, California.

Caption by / Photo by Elon Musk

Musk also hopes that Boring Co. tunnels will transport people in giant, electric, underground sleds like these.

Caption by / Photo by Boring Co.

This is Godot, the name of the Boring Co. tunneling machine. Musk has said its first Boring Co. tunnel route will be in Los Angeles, shortening a 45-minute car trip into a five-minute underground tunnel jaunt.

Caption by / Photo by Boring Co.

Meet Gary, the snail living at the Boring Co. He's more than a pet, though; he's inspiration. One of Musk's goals is making Godot faster than a snail. 

"Gary (the snail) is a speed demon," Musk tweeted in June. "Long way to go before we beat him/her."

Caption by / Photo by Boring Co.

What if you want to go from Los Angeles to San Francisco in a tunnel? Enter Musk's Hyperloop project, which would use tubes like this one, displayed near Las Vegas in 2016.

Caption by / Photo by David Becker/Getty Images

Musk is already testing the Hyperloop concept with sleds like this one. He plans to create a fully operational system by 2020.

Caption by / Photo by David Becker/Getty Images

Of course we can't ignore SpaceX, the company Musk founded in 2002 to make space travel cheaper and, eventually, enable human life on Mars.

To that end, SpaceX in 2016 tested its Falcon 9 rocket. Here, it makes its first successful upright landing on the "Of Course I Still Love You" drone ship.

Caption by / Photo by NASA

This conceptual art illustrates a possible version of Musk's planned Interplanetary Transport System, his privately funded Martian transport and colonization tech project.

Caption by / Photo by SpaceX

Musk's timetable for sending us to Mars? SpaceX has said it wants to launch its Mars-bound cargo flight no earlier than 2022, followed by the first Mars flight with passengers in 2024.

Caption by / Photo by SpaceX

SpaceX's Falcon and Dragon rocket programs both already deliver payloads into Earth's orbit. 

But there's also tourism in the offing; in 2017, Elon Musk said that two people had hired SpaceX to take them around the moon in a Dragon spacecraft in 2018 -- potentially the first piece of lunar tourism.

Caption by / Photo by NASA

Of course, Musk's Tesla electric car company just keeps on chugging along, too. The latest design, the Model 3, recently got the Minecraft treatment, courtesy of the studio Block.

Caption by / Photo by Block

The Tesla Semi, an all-electric big rig truck announced by Musk in 2016, is expected to be unveiled in September. Musk has said it will use "a bunch" of Model 3 electric motors.

Caption by / Photo by Tesla Motors/Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

This isn't a photo of Elon Musk's newest experiment, but it's close. In March, the world learned about Neuralink, a new Musk venture reportedly trying to create brain-computer interfaces, kind of like the one shown here... but implanted in the body.

Caption by / Photo by Erik Tham/Getty Images

In the short term, Musk reportedly wants Neuralink to make tech that can treat serious brain diseases. But eventually, the goal is simpler: human enhancement.

Caption by / Photo by Erik Tham/Getty Images

Yep, that's a thing, and they're coming, if Musk has his way. Musk merged renewable energy company SolarCity with Tesla in 2016, and the tech is, with luck, the next step in that evolution.

Caption by / Photo by Tesla

Musk's company started taking preorders for the roofs in May.

Caption by / Photo by Tesla

Musk also wants everybody to have electric batteries powering their homes. This is a Powerwall, a home battery unit introduced in 2015. 

And, like any good smart home device, the Powerwall can be controlled via your phone, from anywhere.

Caption by / Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

For businesses, Musk has a very large utility pack called Powerpack.

Caption by / Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

In 2015, Musk unveiled the home battery named Powerwall with a selling price of $3,500 for 10kWh and $3,000 for 7kWh. As for those roofs, the price could be very high -- like, $50,000 high -- or perhaps only $10,000, depending on rebates and energy bill savings.

Caption by / Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Finally, we can't ignore OpenAI, a Musk non-profit in San Francisco. The goal: Develop AI that's friendly and will help mankind. Here's a screen grab from a video showing OpenAI technology teaching a complex virtual bot how to walk.

Caption by / Photo by OpenAI
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