Elon Musk boring into new modes of transportation

Elon Musk’s nascent Boring Company — an effort to defeat urban traffic with the mashed-up ingenuity of a tech mogul and a groundhog — now has a sharper vision.

Or at least a slick video.

The company released a 69-second digital animation on Friday showing a network of elevators and subterranean rail lines whisking vehicles and people at more than 100 mph under a crowded urban streetscape.

Musk introduced the concept at a Friday morning TED Talk in Vancouver. The tech entrepreneur, already CEO of Tesla, SpaceX, and a new artificial intelligence company, believes the Boring Company can solve the daily bumper-to-bumper, backed-up-three-exits grind.

The idea seemingly started with Musk’s offhand social media post in December lamenting that “traffic is driving me nuts.”

Onlookers this week spotted a giant tunnel boring machine outside the SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, California. Musk said he wants to take the machine apart and figure out to how to make it faster and more efficient.

Musk has supported efforts to build Hyperloop, a super-fast people and cargo transport through vacuum tubes. Early versions by several companies are expected to be tested this year.

The Boring Company video envisions a series of street-level elevators locking cars into trays, lowering them several stories beneath the road and slotting them onto tracks. The trays are whisked at up to 124 mph, according to the company.

This vision of the future also includes an extensive fleet of Tesla vehicles liberating passengers from their traffic woes.


Photo: Tesla CEO Elon Musk at Trump Tower in New York, Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2016. (Evan Vucci/AP)


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  • tomblakeslee

    I’m excited to see Musk, a true genius, is improving tunneling technology. The decaying thorium in the earth earth is like a giant nuclear reactor which could give us all of the electrical energy we need –24 hours a day. If you dig deeply enough, the temperatures inside the earth exceed those of the sun. If the tunnels can be dug cheaply enough, we can just send water down to the hot rocks and get superheated steam back to run turbines.
    California already produces 2.7 Gigawatts of power this way. Ormat (ORA) has been profitably building geothermal plants for decades. With cheap tunneling the costs could be even lower than they are now. Thank you Elon!