By Spencer Kellogg | United States
Elon Musk can’t run for President of The United States. I know this because I checked a long time ago and then I checked again recently:
Disappointment for a second time.
Lovingly compared to the comic book tech titan Tony Stark, Musk is one of those rare thinkers that has the vision, money, and hutzpah to significantly move our human civilization forward. His politics are a futurist medley of populist libertarianism and he is right at home warning on the future dangers of Artificial Intelligence:
His failures with countless Tesla rollouts have been well documented and the quarterlies for Tesla have not looked good. His promise of a “mass-market” vehicle that can meet the energy efficient demands of consumers has nearly become a running joke. Tesla, for all intensive purposes, feels decades away from turning a market away from the insatiable bank accounts of oil executives. Which is why Musk has been looking into other ventures. Namely, rockets and tunnels.
First, the rockets:
One of the great obstacles in the exploration of our universe is the immense costs associated with rocket technology. By producing a rocket that can land on a pinpoint location, SpaceX will cut the prohibitive costs of space travel and allow for low orbit missions that include the Moon, Mars, and asteroids for mining. With the federal government as uninvolved as ever with space exploration, accurate and reusable rockets are among a new class of assets that will only grow in necessity and value.
But what about simple problems on earth? Like traffic. Our roads and bridges are falling apart after decades of poor maintenance and the need to address transportation issues of today is critical. As Trump calls for a 1.5 trillion dollar infrastructure plan, Musk has suggested one alternative to the transportation builds of the 20th century:
The Boring Company.
Better video coming soon, but it would look a bit like this: pic.twitter.com/C0iJPi8b4U
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 9, 2018
The Boring Company’s idea is simple: dig into the earth and create massive tunnels that can transport humans with efficiency and timeliness throughout the Southern California area and beyond. The thought was birthed one day as Musk sat through another day of insufferable Los Angeles traffic:
The tunnels will be multi-tiered with as many as 12 layers of underground transport. Users will board autonomous transportation pods located in public areas the size of a parking space. The pods will lower into the ground and act as an updated subway system to transport people to their destination in a timely manner. According to the image on The Boring Company’s media page, the initial plans show paths that crisscross Los Angeles:
One major obstacle that Musk will have to hurdle is California politics. Just last week, Californians were informed by state officials that the proposed price of the above ground bullet train project has more than doubled in estimation from an initial $33 billion dollars to a now staggering $77 billion. Some analysts have pinned the project’s cost at closer to $100 billion dollars after a slew of regulatory and aesthetic issues have cropped up in the past few years.
There are also structural concerns for the project. Southern California sits on the San Andreas fault line and is known for its earthquakes. Furthermore, no one can be quite sure what sits underneath the ground and what the cost of relocating sewers and water lines might be.
In late 2017, Musk and his team put in a bid to build an express transit lane between O’Hare airport and downtown Chicago. With ongoing discussions in LA, Chicago, and NYC, The Boring Company could become the biggest disruptor in the modern transportation field.
Image Sources The Boring Company