Uber's chief executive officer Dara Khosrowshahi took a swipe at Hyperloop on Thursday but was instantly given a reality check by Tesla CEO Elon Musk, one of the pioneers of the superfast transportation technology.
While talking up his ride-hailing company's Uber Air project during an event in New Delhi, Khosrowshahi said he could see commercialisation of the flying taxi service happening within five to 10 years.
"Why do you need to dig tunnels for transportation when you can fly?" the Uber CEO quipped in response to a question on Hyperloop.
Musk hit back on Twitter while responding to a query from TechCircle about Khosrowshahi's comments.
New @Uber CEO @dkhos says why do you need to dig tunnels for @HyperloopOne @hyperlooptt when you can fly? Challenges @elonmusk what do you say to that sir @elonmusk @vccircle @vccstartups pic.twitter.com/Mu0GyPIaSI— Anirban Ghoshal (@journoanirban) February 22, 2018
"If you love drones above your house, you’ll really love vast numbers of “cars” flying over your head that are 1,000 times bigger and noisier and blow away anything that isn’t nailed down when they land," he said.
Musk, however, did not directly mention Uber's flying car project. While the tech billionaire is not a supporter of flying cars on Earth, he did send his Tesla Roadster, an electric sports car, into orbit recently as part of a Space X rocket launch.
The matter did not end there. Khosrowshahi took Musk's comments as constructive criticism and posted a tweet of his own that even hinted at a collaboration:
Khosrowshahi's comments on commercialisation of flying cars come two days after he expressed similar views at an event in Tokyo.
The ride-hailing company said it expects flying vehicles to eventually become an affordable method of mass transportation.
Uber has previously said that it would like to launch its first flying taxi service in Dallas, Dubai, and Los Angeles in 2020 on a trial basis.
Hyperloop involves a tunnel system which can transport people between cities within minutes.
Earlier this week, Richard Branson-backed Virgin Hyperloop One signed an agreement with the Maharashtra government to build a superfast transportation system that would cover the 150-km between Mumbai and Pune in 25 minutes.