When Elon Musk started talking about digging tunnels as a way of avoiding traffic, a lot of people were hesitant to take the SpaceX CEO seriously. Not only is he now starting to convince the average joe that such a thing might be possible, but the people in power, too.
Only six months have passed since Elon Musk first publicly raised the idea of building a tunneling machine to burrow beneath Los Angeles, but the project has gathered some serious steam in that time. The Boring Company has since been discussed by Musk onstage at a TED conference, given legitimacy by a detailed company website and has even started digging a test tunnel at its headquarters in LA.
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Apparently inspired by an afternoon stuck in LA traffic, Musk imagines that his solution will one day have cars descend below the streets to be shuttled along electric sleds through 14-ft (4.2 m)-wide tunnels. The technological breakthrough that would make all this possible is primarily a huge reduction in tunneling costs – by factor or more than 10.
While Musk will have a bunch of technological hurdles to clear, he'll also need to win over regulators before he starts digging his way underneath major cities. And according to a tweet this morning, the Mayor of Los Angeles Eric Garcetti is at least open to the idea.
And to throw a little but more momentum behind the idea, Garcetti personally mentioned Musk's proposition in a televised interview when discussing new ways of getting from LA's airport to Union Station downtown.
"Like many other cities have I'd love to see, maybe even with the new tunneling technology that people like Elon Musk is looking at, whether we can have a direct route from LAX to Union Station," he said on ABC7's Eyewitness Newsmakers on Sunday.
As a city that is famous for its traffic and home to The Boring Company's headquarters, LA doesn't seem like the worst place for Elon's new machines to make their debut.View gallery - 7 images