Elon Musk’s 7 most preposterous predictions

Elon Musk is a big brain par excellence. The tycoon has cultivated the image of a renaissance man with the credentials — and the cash — to solve the world’s biggest problems.

The 50-year-old last month unveiled another bold target: using brain implants to cure tinnitus within five years. 

Skeptics suspect the timelines are unrealistic — because they always are.

Greetings humanoids

Subscribe now for a weekly recap of our favorite AI stories

The world’s richest person has compiled a cornucopia of grandiose predictions. Here are seven of the most outlandish.

Prediction 1: Tesla will achieve full self-driving “next year”
Reality: Next year never comes

Arguably Musk’s most notorious promises are his constant claims that Teslas will drive themselves “next year.” He first made the prediction in 2014, but it’s still far from becoming a reality.

By 2021, even Musk’s own engineers weren’t buying it. According to a leaked comment by CJ Moore, Tesla’s director of Autopilot software, Level 5 autonomy remained a distant prospect.

“Elon’s [claim] does not match engineering reality per CJ,” the California Department of Motor Vehicles said about a call with Tesla officials. “Tesla is at Level 2 currently.”

But this feedback didn’t dull Musk’s optimism. In January, he guessed that full self-driving (FSD) will arrive within 12 months — for the ninth year in a row.

Prediction 2: 1 million Tesla robotaxis on the road by 2020
Reality: 0 Tesla robotaxis on the road in 2022