ELON MUSK’s Starlink, the controversial space internet system designed by SpaceX, may have an undisclosed purpose.
Aside from providing high-speed internet access to billions of people in “underserved communities around the world”, Elon Musk’s vision could advance the ambitions of SpaceX’s sister company, Tesla. Manny Shar, head of analytics at Bryce Space and Technology, told Express.co.uk: “I do see the potential for Tesla with Starlink.” When a Tesla vehicle rolls off of the manufacturing line it comes internet-connected with an AT&T LTE cellular connection much like what is in a mobile phone.
This allows for the transmission of Google Maps data to the car and aids the decisions of the driver assist system.
The Starlink “mega constellation” of broadband beaming satellites will open up the amount of data that Internet-connected vehicles can use.
Mr Shar said: “One of the challenges is the terminal for receiving the data from Starlink, the terminal is the size of a pizza box, so the technical and design challenge is to fit one of these into a Tesla vehicle.”
With Starlink, Tesla could have unfettered high-speed Internet access across all regions that will enhance the autopilot system in full self-driving mode and would also offer the potential for autonomous haulage vehicles across the regions covered by the Starlink system.
Mr Shar added: “5G technology will be largely concentrated in the major cities, so the initial value for Starlink will come in remote regions where it is highly costly to run an optic fibre network.”
At present, there is little to no high-speed broadband infrastructure for internet-connected electric vehicles outside the concentrated urban areas.
Tesla could leverage SpaceX’s Starlink to make billions of dollars
Long-term, SpaceX hopes to utilise the profits from Starlink towards constructing the Starship and Super Heavy Falcon, needed for advancing the cause for a human colony on Mars.
Referring to the technology needed to get humans to Mars, Mr Shar said: “To build the Starship and Mars Colonial Transporter they need a big revenue channel coming in. At the moment SpaceX has £3billion coming in annually from launches, but they need more than that to get to Mars.”
Elon Musk informed reporters that an internet satellite network for consumers is how SpaceX can “generate revenue that can be used to develop more and more advanced rockets and spaceships”.
The CEO of SpaceX says that if everything goes well, Starlink could end up generating tens of billions in revenue every year for SpaceX.
That’s far more than the company’s launch revenue, which tops out around £3billion annually.