The year of self-driving cars, satellite internet and more - Here are five 2021 predictions made by Tesla's Elon Musk

Tesla CEO Elon Musk frequently makes headlines for his unique way of thinking and his willingness to take a chance. The world's richest person, Musk certainly has some unique ideas - from his confidence that SpaceX will take humans to Mars by 2026 to his conviction that humans will soon be able to embed microchips in their brains to cure illnesses.

And while he has been proved wrong with some of his predictions in the past, only time will tell whether the future is indeed as Elon Musk envisions it. There are many developments that Musk envisions will happen in the near future. But for the purpose of this article, we took a look at five things that the Tesla chief says will happen by this year.

1. Self driving cars

While Tesla cars already allow drivers some mobility with Autopilot features, Musk says that the company is "very close" to achieving a level of autonomy that requires no driver input. "I remain confident that we will have the basic functionality for level five autonomy complete this year,” he reportedly said in mid-2020. Allowing concessions for the COVID-19 pandemic, it is possible that this goal may be realised in 2021.

2. Satellite internet for the entire world

Starlink, a company under SpaceX is working to make Musk's dream of universal satellite internet come true. The Starlink constellation will consist of thousands of small satellites in a low Earth orbit that work in combination with ground transceivers. Thus far SpaceX has launched 1,015 Starlink satellites. Musk predicts that large swathes of the world will gain access to satellite internet in the near future

3. Microchips to cure illness

Another Musk company, Neuralink is working to cure diseases in an unique manner. The idea here is to create and embed electronic neurotransmitters on the human skull in order to help mitigate symptoms arising from brain injuries as well as help ward of dementia or even cure blindness. Human testing is expected to take place in 2021.

4. A return to the moon

In 2019, Musk predicted that they could land on the moon in less than two years. "Certainly with an uncrewed vehicle I believe we could land on the moon in two years. So then maybe within a year or two of that we could be sending crew. I would say four years at the outside," he said when asked about when there would be new shoe-prints on the moon.

Going several steps further, he also intents to send vehicles to the Moon's surface via a SpaceX rocket for a remote-controlled car rally. The space ship is slated to leave earth in October 2021.

5. A solar city

Even as people turn to greener energy sources, it is difficult to completely remove reliance on fossil fuels. SolarCity Corporation is a company under Tesla that creates and sells solar panels and solar roof tiles. Musk envisions that solar businesses will enjoy a massive spike in demand in the near future. Even as prices drop, Tesla is working on products such as Powerwall that will allow people to store solar energy on the grid. He predicts that the technology will be made available to the masses in 2021.

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