Trending: Japanese mini-rovers send back their first images as they hop around an asteroid

Billionaire Elon Musk’s grand scheme for underground car tunnels will require elevators to get the cars in those tunnels – and tonight he shared a video of a prototype elevator being tested next to SpaceX’s California HQ:

Testing The Boring Company car elevator

A post shared by Elon Musk (@elonmusk) on

The Instagram video follows up on a series of tweets he reeled off four weeks ago, in which the CEO of SpaceX and Tesla rhapsodized about tunnels and floors. One tweet teased a view of the elevator’s structure being built at SpaceX’s test tunnel. “Should be operating next week,” he wrote at the time.

Tonight’s posting – featuring a black Tesla Model S as the car on the ramp – proves that the elevator is indeed operating, in a fashion similar to that shown in an animation laying out the elevator/pod/rail tunnel concept.

Musk has set up an operation called the Boring Company to turn the concept into a reality, producing a new kind of rapid-transit system that could get a car from Los Angeles’ Westwood neighborhood to LAX in five or six minutes. That’s a 10-mile trip that usually takes 20 to 40 minutes today, due to L.A.’s snarled-up traffic.

Last week, Musk upped the ante, saying that he’s been getting verbal go-aheads from government officials to build a Hyperloop tunnel system between New York and Washington, D.C. In that string of tweets, Musk said the system would require “up to a dozen or more entry/exit elevators in each city.”

The White House confirmed that it’s had “promising conversations” with Musk about the idea.

Musk is a long way from building that tunnel (and the other holes in the ground he’s promising to bore). But tonight’s update suggests that the Boring Company could turn into an exciting company indeed.

Subscribe to GeekWire's Space & Science weekly newsletter

Comments

Job Listings on GeekWork

Find more jobs on GeekWork. Employers, post a job here.