Elon Musk says that his Boring Company is getting closer and closer to transporting folks, with the latest tunnel slated to run between DC and NY.
Elon Musk’s next project may be a bit more … boring than his previous endeavors.
The founder of SpaceX and Tesla is accustomed to flashy enterprises and larger-than-life dreams (that all seem to be coming to fruition), and now, he’s turning his attention to a simple problem that plagues all of us: Traffic. Because why shouldn’t it take us 29 minutes to get from New York to D.C.? With Musk’s Boring Company, this could be our new reality, especially now that he has approval to begin digging in Maryland.
Obviously, the man who conceptualized the Hyperloop has never had the patience for sitting in gridlock, and last December, the entrepreneur took to Twitter to express his frustration, and more important, his solution. “Traffic is driving me nuts. Am going to build a tunnel boring machine and just start digging…” he wrote cryptically on December 17 of last year. And just for good measure, he added later, “I am actually going to do this.”
Traffic is driving me nuts. Am going to build a tunnel boring machine and just start digging…
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 17, 2016
Digging a bunch of tunnels does hold the prospect of adding additional lanes to urban areas that can’t easily accommodate more lanes above ground. And given Musk’s track record in other areas, we can at least hope his solution is feasible.
Exciting progress on the tunnel front. Plan to start digging in a month or so.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 25, 2017
The tunnels for the Boring Company are slated to begin “across from my desk at SpaceX,” which is located near “Crenshaw and the 105 Freeway,” about five minutes from LAX, Musk said earlier this year. He’s also addressed concerns about earthquakes, noting that these natural phenomena “tend to have the biggest effect on the surface, like waves on water. That’s why LA can have a (lame, but getting better) subway.”
In late April, he spoke at a TED conference where he outlined more concrete plans for his underground company. Per a concept video, Musk intends to drop cars (gently, of course), beneath Earth’s surface by way of a system of elevator platforms. Cars will drive onto designated areas, which will then be lowered beneath the ground. Once underground, however, the cars won’t be driving themselves. Rather, they will be controlled autonomously by the system at large and sent to their final destinations at speeds of up to 130 miles per hour.
We’ll soon be able to put Musk’s claims to the test, as the entrepreneur revealed in July that he had received verbal government approval for The Boring Company to build an underground system that will take commuters from New York to Philadelphia to Baltimore to Washington, D.C. “NY-DC in 29 mins,” the founder tweeted. While that may seem like a pipe dream, and involves speeds faster than currently planned, it’s inching closer to reality, as Maryland has given Musk the green light to begin digging a 10.3-mile tunnel beneath the Baltimore-Washington Parkway. This marks the first part of the New York to D.C. route, and is just one of many approvals Musk will need to actually bring the Boring Company to life in a real way.
“This thing is real. It’s exciting to see,” Maryland Transportation Secretary Pete Rahn said. “The word ‘transformational’ may be overused, but this is a technology that leapfrogs any technology that is out there today. And it’s going to be here.”
Update: The Boring Project has approval to begin digging in Maryland, where it will complete the first part of its Hyperloop that wants to get you from New York to D.C. in under 30 minutes.