Elon Musk owns many companies that are on the cutting edge of engineering and business endeavor. Most recently he has been working on Mars missions and relaunching used rockets with his company SpaceX. He also designs, manufactures and sells electric cars and solar storage options through Tesla. But now he is boring. He has even named it the Boring Company.
His new company has begun digging a tunnel below SpaceX’s parking lot in Los Angeles. The boring machine, that has arrived and has been put to work, is reportedly working at a speed slower than a snail - literally. Musk intends to create a system of tunnels to transport traffic, to eliminate the nuisance all cities are starting to experience due to population growth: congestion. In a new TED Talk Interview held on the 30th of April 2017, Musk was asked why he was boring. He said:
“We’re trying to dig a hole under L.A. This is to create the beginning of what will hopefully be a 3D network of tunnels, to alleviate congestion. Right now, one of the most soul-destroying things is traffic, it affects people in every part of the world, it takes away so much of your life and it’s horrible.”
The Boring Company’s boring machine
Cars will be lowered underground on what Musk calls a ‘car skate’ and they will then ‘skate’ 124 miles per hour to their destination, under the ground. The Boring Company has released an animated video that gives a better idea of how the system might work within the cities of the future:
“You have to be able to integrate the entrance and exits of the tunnel seamlessly into the fabric of the city. By having an elevator - sort of a car skate that’s on an elevator - you can integrate the entrances and exits to the tunnel network just by using two parking spaces.”
Futurologists vs Futurologists
Musk discounts the rumors put about by the critics who say that drilling underground will be hellishly disruptive to normal life above ground. He says that earth absorbs vibrations very expertly the deeper you go. And they plan on going deep. Some writers and futurologists, on the other hand, are theorizing about the future of flying technology - integrating flying cars into the city in an effort to minimize congestion. Musk, however, is persistently boring.
“There’s no real limit to how many levels of tunnel you can have, you can go much further down than you can go up. The deepest mines are much deeper than the tallest buildings are tall. So, you can alleviate any arbitrary level of urban congestion with a 3D tunnel network.”
Musk explains why he is against a future where flying cars ease congestion: the wind force, the noise generated by flying traffic and the chance that car parts might rain from the sky, would elevate human anxiety levels. And it is this anxiety he is hoping to alleviate.
"Elon Musk's TED 2017 Full Interview." YouTube. YouTube, 30 Apr. 2017. Web. 05 May 2017.
Lambert, Fred, and Fred Lambert @FredericLambert Fred Is the Editor in Chief and Main Writer at Electrek. "Elon Musk’s Giant Tunnel Boring Machine Arrived at SpaceX – First Pictures." Electrek. 28 Apr. 2017. Web. 04 May 2017.