Since his success with PayPal, Elon Musk – founder of SpaceX, Tesla, Neuralink and many more along the way – has earnt a kind of demi-god status amongst entrepreneurs, founders and business people worldwide. His recent conversation with TED Curator Chris Anderson in Vancouver shed light one of his more recent projects: an automated tunnel network which promises to alleviate congestion on the streets of LA.
A 3D Underground Tunnel Network
As demonstrated in the video above, his vision involves cars travelling at up to 130 miles per hour on ‘car skates’ which are accessible from elevated parking spaces on the roadside. He explained: “we’re trying to dig a hole under LA, and this is to create the beginning of what will hopefully be a 3D network of tunnels to alleviate congestion.” Boring has begun.
It’s no surprise that Musk, who must be one of the most time-poor professionals in Silicon Valley, is taking steps to eliminate road traffic, which he describes as “one of the most soul-destroying things.” When questioned on the costliness of the vision, he acknowledged it was not a cheap win, but claimed that costs will be minimised by the fact that The Boring Company’s unique machine will tunnel and reinforce simultaneously.
I am actually going to do this
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 17, 2016
Musk declared his plans to dig an underground tunnel network on Twitter last December, but had not properly elaborated on his proposals until this week.
Taking An Airborne Market Underground
Musk’s solution is unique not only because other present plans to solve traffic problems are generally airborne – not least Airbus’ flying car or Lilium’s jet plane. Acknowledging this, he made sure to poke fun at Uber’s similar plans to raise cars skyward via VTOL, saying: “If something’s flying over your head, a whole bunch of flying cars going all over the place, that is not an anxiety-reducing situation… You’ll be thinking, ‘Did they service their hubcap, or is it going to come off and guillotine me?’”
Speaking to a captive audience in Vancouver, he suggested that there was “no real limit” to the possible number and scope of underground tunnels, noting that “the deepest mines are much deeper than the tallest buildings are tall.”