SpaceX and Tesla billionaire, Elon Musk, proposed an innovative solution to the world’s congestion problem, underground tunnels.
According to several reports, Musk released a series of videos and images to demonstrate his new electric sled concept that will transport cars through subterranean tunnels at 125 miles per hour.
“Traffic is driving me nuts. Am going to build a tunnel boring machine and just start digging..”
Cars will drive into a “skate car port” on ground level, they are then lowered via elevators into a network of tunnels. Electric “skates” will then propel the cars from one tunnel to another until they reach their destination. All “skates” will do the travelling, slotting into spaces within the tunnels which will dramatically reduce traffic congestion.
Musk created Boring Company to make the idea reality. Although that’s the name of the firm undertaking the work, this project is far from boring. He came up with the idea in late 2016 after becoming frustrated with traffic congestion.
Musk claims that his latest proposal will cut travel times for many routes around the United States. One example given was the travel time for the Westwood to LAX commute, it takes about 45 minutes in current traffic levels, but will take just 5 minutes using his new tunnel system.
“Traffic is driving me nuts. Am going to build a tunnel boring machine and just start digging…,” Musk tweeted in December. “I am actually going to do this,” he added.
Elon Musk Begins Work on New Transportation System
According to Canyon News, Musk has already begun digging a prototype tunnel on the grounds of SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, to reach parking on Crenshaw Boulevard.
Musk has also unveiled his first tunnel-boring machine, named Godot, and images of the entry hole and starting tunnel. “The full length of the first tunnel aims to run from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to Culver City, Santa Monica, Westwood, and Sherman Oaks. In the future, he hopes to create tunnels that will cover the greater Los Angeles area,” Canyon News writes.
However, critics say that Musk has not yet received the permits, permissions or approvals needed to go ahead with the project. What’s more, the building of the tunnel system is likely to cause major disruptions until they are completed, and the queues of cars waiting to descend underground on his “skates” are likely to cause even further traffic congestion.
Musk is also working on other innovative transportation methods, including the Hyperloop. This concept entails propelling pods through tubes with reduced air pressure at an average speed of about 600 miles per hour. However, it’s still only in concept stage.
It takes bold steps by people like Elon Musk, creating driverless cars with Tesla, conquering space with SpaceX, devising solar roof tiles, and now transportation devices, to drive innovation forward. However, most of his projects are in the development stage and it remains to be seen if they will come to fruition.