Virgin Hyperloop One/ Volocopter
Industryweek 28073 Future Fight Promo 0218

When Futurists Fight, Industry Wins

Feb. 26, 2018
Elon Musk and new Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi recently had a social media spat over which is better: flying cars or the Hyperloop. Is it really a debate that they both could transform how the world does business?

While your kids may intently follow feuds between Youtube stars, socialites or rappers, or some unholy royal rumble of the three, for the mature, genuinely sophisticated industrialist, there’s really nothing better than the bosses of billion-dollar dork fighting about theoretical tech. Case in point: the recent twitter kerfuffle betwixt Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk and new Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi.

You’d think the leaders of two mega-companies working on self-driving vehicles, both engineering-savvy immigrants representing the apex of the American dream, would have so much in common. But you’d be wrong. The Uber CEO believes the future of transportation lies in the skies and Musk is digging in tube-based hyperloop trains, (literally, because he owns the giant-hole carving Boring Company.)

“There will be people flying around Dallas, Texas,” predicted Khosrowshahi at a Munich tech conference last month. “I think it’s going to happen within the next ten years.” 

Technically, it’s already happening, as the Volocopter VC200 lifted off at CES. Daimler invested $30 million in the German startup.

And Boeing has outsourced the idea of personal flying devices with its GoFly Prize, which is awarding up to $2 million to anyone who can demonstrate a working prototype to help humanity realize its dreams of personal flight. This could be a jetpack, flying car, or flying motorcycle. There’s still time to submit your own contraption, but keep in mind Phase I winners will be announced May 29 and the final fly-off is scheduled for Oct. 2019.

Musk brings the idea back to earth by raising a few valid points.

Meanwhile, the Volocopter already has taken an unmanned flight across its futuristic skyline

So while everyone loves watching a few geeky geniuses battle it out over what tech is better, it’s best to listen to the quiet rich kid in the corner actually making it all feasible.

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