Among the widespread businesses of Elon Musk, The Boring Company may be the most secretive.
The tunnel company is currently developing a project that facilitates traffic in Los Angeles – but Musk's comments on a Recode podcast on a Friday suggest that they point to aspirations beyond the simple tunnel.
"We expect to create a tunnel network over LA in time," said SpaceX and Tesla CEO Kara Swisher. "And I think this is really the most important thing to get to the city quickly.
By 3-D, Musk means several tunnels – tunnels that deeper into the earth's crust where they can cross over, overlap and do things that conventional tunnels did not do because they are expensive.
"The cost of the tunnel, historically, forbidden," Musk said. "And they were incredibly slow.
Solving? A cheaper tunnel solution.
"There was a subway system that was in many layers of tunnel," said Musk, "but the tunnels are so costly that they are not doing it, but you can go 100 levels if you want, 100 layers of tunnels on top of each other … the key is huge tunnel technology improvement, this line, which basically is this.
Read more: Elon Musk tunnel construction company just introduced Los Angeles people to Dodgers Stadium in just four minutes – but the timing of the announcement is curious
The Boring Company says on its website that it can increase the efficiency of conventional tunneling drills or TBMs, which are incredibly large, slow and expensive, by reducing the diameter of the pipeline by 50% and by operating the machine's automatic automaton.
The company previously recorded photos of its progress on Instagram – including flamingos (er, * not * flamingos) for fundraising – but the bill was empty from Friday, except for some logos. This means that Musk will cancel his personal Instagram account in August.
Then there is the question of capacity. Musk told Recode that he had never met a man using the subway, a statement that reflected the previously broadcast fear of public transport. This is probably behind Musk's idea of traveling "roller skates" or mini sleeves that are transporting far fewer people by vehicle than a conventional metro train car. As many transport experts have pointed out, this greatly reduces the overall capacity of the system.
Of course, hundreds of layers of tunnels could help with this capacity.
"The tunnels are underestimated," Musk said.
Read the full Recode interview.
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