Elon Musk, the closest thing we have to a real-world Tony Stark, doesn’t do things by half and half. When he says he wants to go to Mars, you can be sure he has a plan. When he says he wants a superfast commuting system, you can be sure he has a plan. And when he builds cars, you can be sure he has a plan. A plan for even biowarfare survival. Read on.
Musk’s electric car company Tesla Motors has just unveiled the Model X and while we suppose the car itself is a technological feat of its own, it does come with a rather unique and somewhat novel feature: a button that will activate a bioweapon defense mode. That turns on the car’s air filter and deliver interior air quality “on the levels of a hospital room.” On its official Model X page, Tesla says that the car features “a medical grade HEPA filter strips outside air of pollen, bacteria, viruses and pollution before circulating it into the cabin.”
The air filter in the Model X is 10 times larger than what you would expect from a normal car filter. Tesla is also boasting that it will be 300 times better filtering out bacteria, 500 times better at filtering allergens, 700 times better at filtering smog, and 800 times better at filtering viruses. The bioweapon defense mode works by creating “positive pressure inside the cabin to protect occupants.”
The Model X’s other standout feature is its falcon-wing doors which open upwards and use sensors to help them clear obstacles, such as garage ceilings. The company suggests this will make it easier to put young children in car seats without hitting their heads on the roof. The electric car also features a panoramic windshield that extends overhead, which Musk said was the largest single piece of glass ever used in a car.
As for the small question of mobility, the Model X has two electric motors that can travel about 250 miles (400 km) on a single charge and features automatic functions that bring it “ever closer to autonomous operation”. It will be continuously improved, Tesla says, via software transmitted “over the air”.
An update expected within the next month should enable an auto-pilot function, allowing the cars to be driven hands-free on motorways.
The Model X is priced as high as $144,000 (£95,000, €128,000), and Tesla expects the pre-orders will take between eight months and a year to fulfil.
Now you know which car to drive should the scenario in Fallout video game ever become a reality.