Home TechnologyHere’s Who Really Invents the Amazing Things Elon Musk Gets All the Credit For
TechnologyBy Joe Burgett -

Here’s Who Really Invents the Amazing Things Elon Musk Gets All the Credit For
[Image via Felipe Sanchez/Shutterstock.com]

Tesla Supercharger Station

Let’s face it, the biggest problem with electric cars has been the clear lack of charging stations. You can find a gas station almost anywhere, in the United States at least. Yet charging stations aren’t as easy to find, particularly in southern states. Tesla Motors knew that they could not expect people to travel as often in their vehicles if they couldn’t find a reliable place to charge their cars. While some hotels allow people to charge their car, it isn’t as common as one would want. That led to the introduction of charging stations.

Here’s Who Really Invents the Amazing Things Elon Musk Gets All the Credit For
[Image via Sheila Fitzgerald/Shutterstock.com]
Not only did Tesla want to provide reliable charging places, but also ensure it doesn’t take very long to charge the cars too. The Tesla Charging Stations weren’t exactly invented by Elon Musk, but he did feel that charging stations needed to be available. Production on these stations began in 2012 on the original stations, where Tesla actually offered free charges. This ended around the Spring of 2020. Today, there are over 35,000 Tesla Supercharger Stations, making it the world’s largest fast-charging network. It is assumed Javier Verdura is the brainchild behind the supercharger stations. He has been the Tesla Global Design Director since 2012.

Here’s Who Really Invents the Amazing Things Elon Musk Gets All the Credit For
[Image via CanadianPhotographer56/Shutterstock.com]

Tesla Model 3

The Tesla Model 3 is quite an interesting vehicle for the company. While it was made to be all-electric like the others, the design made it look like what one might find at any dealership. This is an executive sedan that launched in mid-2017 on a limited production. There are two versions of the Model 3. The first is capable of reaching 272 miles on a single charge. Meanwhile, the slightly more expensive “Long Range” version could reach 358 miles on a single charge. The Model 3 also contains full self-driving hardware, with periodic software updates that add functionality. Before the Model 3 came out, one issue plagued Tesla Motors. Their cars were expensive.

Here’s Who Really Invents the Amazing Things Elon Musk Gets All the Credit For
[Image via Christopher Lyzcen/Shutterstock.com]
That made it harder to purchase them for the average person. That’s why the Model 3 was reduced in price compared to previous Tesla vehicles. In fact, the company marketed it as “affordable.” Today, a rear-wheel drive version will cost you around $40,000 while the AWD is a little over $56,000. This plan by Tesla, Inc. worked out well for them too. By 2020, the Model 3 became the best-selling electric car in history. By 2021, Tesla sold 1 million Model 3 vehicles. The planning for the Model 3 goes back several years, with Franz von Holzhausen operating as Design Chief. Franz wanted to make the design come off like an Audi A4 or BMW 3 series type of vehicle. He managed to do this, and it was 20% smaller than the Model S too!

Here’s Who Really Invents the Amazing Things Elon Musk Gets All the Credit For
[Image via Alexander Lukatskiy/Shutterstock.com]

Elon Musk and Maurice J. Fitzgerald, II’s Dual Patent

Elon Musk along with Maurice J. Fitzgerald, II filed two patents that appear to be for the same invention. It is called “Interactive Network Directory Service With Integrated Maps and Directions.” Both were filed as part of Zip2. The first looks to have been filed by “Zip2” in 1996 and given in August 1999. The second was filed for in June 1999 and given in November 2000. The invention provides a network-accessible service that integrates both a business directory and map database. A user can search the business directory in numerous methods, including using aspects of the map database to quantify the search.

Here’s Who Really Invents the Amazing Things Elon Musk Gets All the Credit For
[Image via Studio Monkey/Shutterstock.com]
Users can then obtain directions from a specific user location to a selected search result. All of this is accomplished by accessing a single website. This was literally the entire business operation of Zip2. While simplistic in its concept, by not patenting it, they’d run the risk of someone else doing so and thereby ending their entire business model. Interestingly, Maurice seems to be connected to several more patents on top of this. Either their father invented several things or they were credited as just Maurice Fitzgerald. Meaning Maurice, Sr. or his son likely assisted big time with this concept.

Here’s Who Really Invents the Amazing Things Elon Musk Gets All the Credit For
[Image via NASA]

The TR-106 Rocket Engine

The TR-106 Rocket Engine was incredibly important to SpaceX and its future. TRW, Inc. began working on the TR-106 Rocket Engine as early as the late 1990s. TRW often took on military contracts. In business since 1901, TRW managed to help the military develop the first intercontinental ballistic missile in the 1950s. You know it best as the ICBM. Eventually, Tom Mueller began working with them and was made the Lead Engineer for the development of the LCPE, a 650,000 pounds of thrust LOX/LH2 engine. They managed to successfully hot-fire test it at 100% of its rated thrust plus 65% throttle condition.

Here’s Who Really Invents the Amazing Things Elon Musk Gets All the Credit For
[Image via NASA]
Yet TRW then changed the pintle injector among other things but suddenly development of the engine ended with the cancellation of the Space Launch Initiative. In 2002, TRW was acquired by Northrop Grumman and the TR-107 began with a NASA contract. Elon Musk offered Tom Mueller the opportunity to become a founding member of SpaceX in 2002 and Mueller’s work on the TR-106 did not go to waste. He used part of this to help SpaceX develop the Merlin Engines. These engines, of course, were part of the initial Falcon Rockets. His work on these engines led to the development of others too.

Here’s Who Really Invents the Amazing Things Elon Musk Gets All the Credit For
[Image via Mike Mareen/Shutterstock.com]

Tesla Cybertruck

While we do not know as much about the Tesla Cybertruck as we do about other vehicles, it does involve one of Musk’s biggest blunders. When introducing it, he claimed the windows are bulletproof. He likely was not briefed on the model used for the display. Those obviously don’t include all the bells and whistles of the Cybertruck at launch. The windows are certainly bulletproof for all Cybertrucks as Musk said, the model used for his talk about it was not. When he attempted to prove the strength of the windows, he asked Franz von Holzhausen to attempt to break one.

Here’s Who Really Invents the Amazing Things Elon Musk Gets All the Credit For
[Image via Forbes]
Franz asked if Musk was sure before he did it, when Elon said he was, Franz actually broke the window. This is why you always ask your team if the display model is 100% the vehicle one sees at launch. While Franz is one of the main designers of the Cybertruck, a few others also contributed to the design and other engineering aspects of the Cybertruck. Ian Kettle, Sahm Jafari, David Imai, and Ivan Lampkin all contributed to its design and development. While Musk has been talking about Tesla making an all-electric truck for years, he’s not the mastermind behind it. Moreover, it is not going to be available to buy until 2023.

Here’s Who Really Invents the Amazing Things Elon Musk Gets All the Credit For
[Image via Kent Weakley/Shutterstock.com]

Falcon Heavy and Merlin Rocket Engines

The Falcon Heavy Rocket was an engineering masterpiece that surely will help space travel to places like Mars a reality. This same rocket could also be useful for future Moon travel and base setup. Initially, SpaceX had developed rockets that mostly went into Low Earth Orbit. The Falcon Heavy was made to go beyond this territory, so the right equipment had to be developed for it. What makes the Falcon Heavy Rocket stand out is its reusability, which is very abnormal to see from a heavy-lift launch vehicle. It uses two strap-on boosters made from the Falcon 9’s first stages, and a second stage is used on top.

Here’s Who Really Invents the Amazing Things Elon Musk Gets All the Credit For
[Image via Mark_Sawyer/Shutterstock.com]
As of now, the Falcon Heavy also has the highest payload capacity of any current and operational rocket/launch vehicle. Only the Saturn V and Energia have ever been capable of carrying larger payloads. The first launch happened in 2018, then two more took place in 2019 (more are scheduled). The National Security Space Launch Program has since certified the ship. On top of this, this rocket uses Merlin Engines to reach its destination. While Elon Musk has been wanting to make a rocket like this for years, the man who has made a lot of this happen is Tom Mueller. He made the engines and he along with other engineers designed the Falcon Heavy itself.

Here’s Who Really Invents the Amazing Things Elon Musk Gets All the Credit For
[Image via TY Lim/Shutterstock.com]

Elon Musk Essentially Just Added His Name To This Tesla Patent

The first Elon Musk patent we’re going to discuss involves “Autonomous and User Controlled Vehicle Summon To A Target.” The invention revolves around a processor coupled to memory that’s configured to receive an identification of a geographical location, associated with a target, specified by a user remote from a vehicle. A machine learning model is utilized to generate a representation of, at the very least, a portion of an environment surrounding the vehicle. This uses sensor data from one or more sensors of the vehicle. A portion of a path-to-target location then corresponds to receive geographical location, calculated using the generated representation of the environment surrounding the vehicle.

Here’s Who Really Invents the Amazing Things Elon Musk Gets All the Credit For
[Image via Lipik Stock Media/Shutterstock.com]
At least one command is then provided to automatically navigate the vehicle based on a determined path and updated sensor data from a portion of one or more sensors in said vehicle. This was filed on behalf of Tesla, Inc. in 2019 and the inventors of this include Elon Musk, Kate Park, Nenad Uzunovic, Christopher Coleman Moore, Francis Havlak, Stuart Bowers, Andrej Karpathy, Arvind Ramanandan, Ashima Kapur Sud, Paul Chen, Paril Jain, Alexander Hertzberg, Jason Kong, Li Wang, Oktay Arslan, Nicklas Gustafsson, Charles Shieh, and David Seelig. Needless to say, Musk didn’t write his school report, he put his name on a friend’s. If you’d like to read about the invention fully, you can do so here.

Here’s Who Really Invents the Amazing Things Elon Musk Gets All the Credit For
[Image via Grossinger/Shutterstock.com]

SpaceX Starship

Perhaps the biggest project being undertaken by SpaceX at the moment is their Starship. Yes, it is exactly what you think it is. They have already built most of it and are currently developing launch sites for it. This ship, unlike any of the Falcon Rockets, is going to be used for human travel into space. It is the very first launch vehicle ever made for human travel to be completely reusable. It is the tallest, most powerful launch vehicle ever made. The Starship works in two stages, which consist of the Super Heavy booster stage then the Starship’s second stage comes into play…also referred to as the spacecraft itself. This spacecraft is going to have four things inside: the cargo, crew, propellant tanker, and lunar lander.

Here’s Who Really Invents the Amazing Things Elon Musk Gets All the Credit For
[Image via Space.com]
The Starship launch will be able to deliver 220,000 pounds of force as it enters into Low Earth Orbit. The cool part is that once in orbit, Starship tankers can refuel the spacecraft to transport into higher orbits or other destinations beyond LOE. This spacecraft will also be able to enter the atmosphere of most planets. It can then use its engines to land properly or it can be left in space. They’ve been working on it since 2005, so it is very likely Tom Mueller had been behind a lot of it. He was especially part of the Raptor Engines development. Several engineers are also involved in making it work along with NASA and the FAA. Yet there are still questions surrounding the Starship, particularly for exploration. Elon Musk might have been planning to do this, but he never was involved in the development process itself.

Here’s Who Really Invents the Amazing Things Elon Musk Gets All the Credit For
[Image via Abu hasim.A/Shutterstock.com]

Tesla Model S

Perhaps the biggest public battle Elon Musk has ever had when it comes to the development of one of his company’s most infamous products has to do with the Tesla Model S. The main man behind this car’s development is Peter Rawlinson. Of course, Rawlinson was Chief Engineer on the Model S and said as much when speaking to the press. He worked with Tesla as the Vice President and Chief Engineer of the Model S from 2009 to 2012, a full three years. Yet Musk claimed this was not true, and it is likely due to what happened with Rawlinson’s exit and the work he has done ever since. Such as Lucid making its own impressive car.

Here’s Who Really Invents the Amazing Things Elon Musk Gets All the Credit For
[Image via CanadianPhotographer56/Shutterstock.com]
When asked by the press about why he left Tesla in 2012, he claimed that his aging mother needed him and that “I had a boss that wasn’t treating me too well.” He did not choose to elaborate on this. Yet Rawlinson would go on to Lucid Motors where he became the Chief Technology Officer and now operates as both CEO and CTO at the company. Musk claims Rawlinson was never the Chief Engineer of the Model S but this is very false. Not only did the announcement of his hire mention his position but he is in Tesla videos discussing the car with his position(s) being referenced in them! Franz von Holzhausen was also crucial to this car’s development.

Where Do We Find this Stuff? Here Are Our Sources:

National Aeronautics & Space Administration (NASA)

World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)

United States Patent & Trademark Office

Justia Patents

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)

Tesla, Inc.

SpaceX

Virgin Group

OpenAI

Navteq

Airbus

Harbour Air

Reuters

The Hill

Smithsonian Magazine

Futurism

Forbes

LinkedIn

Electrek

Advertisement