Elon Musk Has a Secret Plan to End Urban Traffic Jams

Entrepreneur says it will involve some new kind of self-driving conveyance.

byWill Sabel Courtney|
Elon Musk Has a Secret Plan to End Urban Traffic Jams

Transportation-minded futurist Elon Musk says he has a plan for a vehicle that could help solve the eternal struggle with traffic congestion faced by cities across the planet. But, much like Nixon in 1968, he's keeping his plans to end this quagmire secret for the moment.

"We have an idea for something which is not exactly a bus but would solve the density problem for inner city situations," he said on April 21 during a transportation conference in Norway, according to Bloomberg Business. “There’s a new type of car or vehicle that would be great for that and that’ll actually take people to their final destination and not just the bus stop.”

Musk did let slip that self-driving vehicles were "key" to the plan. Otherwise, though, details were sparse.

“I don’t want to talk too much about it," Musk said. "I have to be careful what I say.”

Musk has a history of being cagey with his big announcements. The entrepreneur originally teased his idea for the Hyperloop by describing its grandiose characteristics, such as its ability to transport people at supersonic speeds while being immune to crashes. Likewise, before unveiling the all-wheel-drive version of the Tesla Model S, he released a tweet that was both opaque and hilarious:

Musk's vague statements of a vehicle somewhere between a bus and a taxi bring to mind something similar to UberPool, which enables multiple riders to share a car with the tap of a button. That service, however, uses the same cars and SUVs as the regular versions of Uber, which usually only seat four to six people. Musk's description seems to describe something with greater passenger capacity, more like a large van.

Wait a second. Is Elon Musk just inventing a self-driving Super Shuttle that goes places besides the airport?