A boring proposal

Elon Musk believes underground tunnels are a solution to relieving traffic congestion.

Elon Musk believes underground tunnels are a solution to relieving traffic congestion.

Ricardo Golac, Staff Writer

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Popularizing and innovating on electric cars, rockets and solar power isn’t enough for billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk.

 

Elon Musk wants to build intricate underground roadway systems beneath the country’s biggest and most sprawling urban centers in an attempt to address the major traffic congestion problem in many US cities. Musk dubbed the new company in charge of building the roadway system “The Boring Company.”

 

The company released a video on YouTube visualizing their idea, which consisted of a huge network of these undergrounding tunnels transporting cars to various parts of the city. Cars on the surface can enter on platforms along the curb and be dropped down into the underground highway. He said that his vision was to have “no limits” to the amount of tunnels, but to find ways to cut the cost of boring and to speed up how quickly such tunnels could be created.

 

“We have a pet snail called Gary, and Gary is capable of moving 14 times faster than a tunnel boring machine – so the ambition is to beat Gary,” said Musk

 

The firm Musk set up to oversee the project – The Boring Company – takes up less than 3% of his time and it was run by interns and part-timers, many from some of his other companies. The project may not be the most ambitious idea Musk has had; that one will probably be the colonization of Mars with Space X, but it definitely won’t be easy. To build a sprawling network under the urban areas of America, Musk will have to have a public/private partnership. This project will likely not be something that can be achieved alone and may not work in some areas of the US: Florida, for example, will not have any of these systems given that the water table is very high in our state. If the idea works out, its implementation would likely take a few years for just one city.

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