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Elon Musk and his Boring Tunnel: What can we expect in the future?

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【Summary】At the recent TED conference in Vancouver, BC, Canada, Musk revealed some bold ideas about the Boring Tunnel— a transportation solver that can ease the congestion through underground tunnels.

Original Claire    May 09, 2017 1:25 PM PT
Elon Musk and his Boring Tunnel: What can we expect in the future?

The IT mogul who has the boldest dreams in Silicon Valley is probably Elon Musk. From electric vehicles, the hyperloop, satellites, sending people to Mars, to the current Boring company—there seems nothing he would not dare to try out.

At the recent TED conference in Vancouver, BC he revealed some bold ideas about the Boring Tunnel— a transportation solver that can ease the congestion via underground tunnels.

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The Boring Company is Musk's latest venture. Led by SpaceX engineer Steve Davis, the company is planning on building a network of underground tunnels in Los Angeles, to transport cars on an electric skate. Musk revealed a video at the conference showing a 3D-rendering of a modern city, where cars can be shifted underground and travel on crisscrossing layers of tunnels with a maximum speed of 130 mph. That means, "you could get from Westwood to Los Angeles in five minutes." Musk said.

So how does the car to moved underground? In his vision, there will be metal containers or sleds that are installed at road side that look like a parking space. When a car parks on the sled, it will serve as an elevator that lowers the vehicle into the underground world. The sled, or electric skate, will take the car to its destination at high speed through the tunnels.

Musk added that the underground network might include as many as 30 layers of tunnels, accommodating both cars and Hyperloop.

"There's no real limit to how many levels of tunnels you can have," he said. "The deepest mines are much deeper than the tallest buildings are tall."

However, such bold ideas will surely lead to opposing opinions. Some civil engineering experts are thinking this is really insane. Digging a tunnel underground has to take into consideration many factors, the machine needs to navigate through different terrain underground, whether it soil, rock, or utility lines. Additionally, personal safety needs to be guaranteed.

Besides, Musk doesn't seem to spend much time on his new project. After Tesla and SpaceX, he said he only spent 2 to 3 percent of his time on the Boring Company.

"This is basically interns and people doing it part time," he said. "We bought some second-hand machinery. It's kind of puttering along but making good progress."

Currently, the Boring Project is carried on at Musk's SpaceX site. If it intends to extend beyond, it will need regulators approval first.

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