Elon Musk Just Revealed New Details About His Boring Tunnel Machine

Anita Tucker
April 30, 2017

A year ago while stuck in a traffic jam, Tesla's CEO Elon Musk tweeted out that he wanted to build a tunnel boring machine that would create underground tunnels as an alternative to surface roads. That will be controlled autonomously by the overarching tunnel system, and carry the vehicle to its destination. As the video shows, the company hopes to establish a network of tunnels in congested cities in which cars would travel between fixed points on high-speed sleds. The platform travels at 124 miles per hour (200 km) with the vehicle on it as other cars travel on other car-skates through the tunnels.

Sure enough, a big white tunnel boring machine, with "The Boring Company" (Boring, it's what we do) painted on the side arrived at Musk's SpaceX facility in Hawthorne, California. "There's a challenge of flying cars in that they'll be quite noisy".

While the ride-hailing/food delivering behemoth Uber isn't exactly a direct competitor to Musk's electric auto company Tesla right now, it may one day find itself competing for customers. That's been slowly beginning its digging process, though Musk says his team is already looking at how the excavation's efficiency can be improved with homegrown designs. "We bought some secondhand machinery", Musk announced, reports MarketWatch. At the TED2017 conference, Musk spoke a little bit more about the company. Reusing rockets is a major step forward in making spaceflight more affordable, since they cost tens of millions of dollars and have traditionally been discarded after one launch.

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You know, that thought never crossed my mind, but now that you mention it, Elon, tunnels are sounding pretty good.

"We have a pet snail named Gary", he said. Machines today dig the tunnels about half the time and spend the other half reinforcing those tunnels, he said.

"You'll be thinking, 'Did they service their hubcap, or is it going to come off and guillotine me?" he said. Moreover, Musk said the Boring Company was taking only "2 or 3 percent" of his time. "Am going to build a tunnel boring machine and just start digging." he wrote, following that up with another tweet saying, "I am actually going to do this".

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