Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, demonstrated once again that he’s serious about boring tunnels beneath Los Angeles. But not boringly serious.
In a series of Twitter and Instagram posts, the billionaire brainiac showed off pictures of The Boring Company’s experimental tunneling machine (nicknamed “Godot,” after the famous Samuel Beckett in which the characters wait for something to happen, which doesn’t happen).
But the piece de resistance is a clip showing the test run of a prototype sled, through what is obviously SpaceX’s mile-long Hyperloop tube track in Hawthorne, Calif. The lights that flash as the sled zooms through the tube earn the video a cautionary label. “Warning, this may cause motion sickness or seizures,” Musk writes.
Watch at your own risk:
As Musk explained during a TED talk in Vancouver last month, such sleds could serve as “car skates” for high-speed transit beneath L.A. or other cities.
The idea is that automobiles could drive onto the skates at street level, and then be lowered into rail tunnels. The electric-powered skates would zoom through the tunnels at speeds of up to 125 mph, potentially avoiding gridlock and cutting travel times to a fraction of what they are today.
Musk said he plans to build a tunnel from Los Angeles International Airport to Culver City, Santa Monica, Westwood and Sherman Oaks. “Future tunnels will cover all of greater L.A.,” he wrote in an Instagram post:
There’s no indication that Musk has received a go-ahead for building that miles-long tunnel yet, and he may find the job harder than he expects – as Bertha-watching Seattleites have discovered. What’s more, it’s debatable whether the system will solve L.A.’s traffic problems or merely add new bottlenecks.
Musk’s first objective is far less ambitious: It’s digging a 500-foot-long pedestrian tunnel that will lead from SpaceX’s headquarters to its parking garage on the other side of Crenshaw Boulevard, according to a report from the Daily Breeze.
Musk assured his Twitter followers that The Boring Company’s tunnels will be earthquake-proof, and that he aims to ramp up the boring speed by at least a factor of 10. He promises Godot won’t be the company’s only tunneling machine. Future machines will be named after poems and plays. For example, “The Road Less Traveled” by Robert Frost?
“Third one will be from Frost. Maybe the second,” Musk joked in a tweet.
Check out a couple more of Musk’s not-so-boring updates on The Boring Company: