When Elon Musk has an idea, he likes to get started. Tunneling, an obsession inspired in part by Los Angeles’ horrendous traffic, is no exception. The CEO of Tesla and SpaceX tweeted his intentions to start “The Boring Company” last December and by Jan. 17, he had news. “Exciting progress on the tunnel front,” he tweeted. “Plan to start digging in a month or so.”
On Apr. 28, Musk released a digital clip of how his system might work after a TED talk on the topic. In the minute-long clip, cars zip along city streets before stopping on car-sized elevators built into the pavement. Cars are lowered on platforms into underground tracks that whisk them off to their destination before raising them back to street level to complete their journey.
No one is sure how serious a venture The Boring Company is for Musk, who is also busy running energy, automobile solar panel, and rocket businesses. Musk started a massive trial excavation in the parking lot of his Los Angeles SpaceX facility earlier this year, and Musk was window-shopping for a used Chinese boring machine in February, reports Bloomberg. It’s possible, as he did with the Hyperloop, a magnetic levitating train using low-pressure tubes, he’ll bless anyone who wishes to take the idea and run with it.