Is the tech entrepreneur serious about his solution to traffic congestion?
While necessity is the mother of invention, sometimes the greatest inventions are borne out of pure irritation and access to Twitter. Famed game-changer Elon Musk, frustrated at sitting in dead standstill Los Angeles traffic, tweeted an innocuous and humorous threat to build a digging machine and start tunneling under the city. It seems to have been an idea that took root, though, since Musk has now followed the up with actual photos of a massive tunneling machine that looks like something straight out of Phineas and Ferb, as well as the announcement that he’s already completed a massive trench from the California-based SpaceX headquarters.
Okay, this isn’t a joke. It might have started out as one, but the guy who plans to privately colonize Mars isn’t known for thinking small. His mid-December angst tweet was followed up late last month with another tweet, announcing that digging would begin in about a month. The plan was to dig a car-compatible tunnel from SpaceX to the LA airport, presumably with branches off to other destinations in the works.
Interestingly, the thought progression in his initial series of tweets was nearly instantaneous, leaving the realm of “if things don’t hurry up I’ll just start digging,” to actually naming his digging company “The Boring Company” because it will be known for boring tunnels. Shortly after, possibly due to the time he had to think it through while sitting in gridlock, he further tweeted, “I’m actually going to do this.”
Hint: if you play the stock market and Elon Musk tweets a crazy idea, you’d better have your hand on the phone to call your broker. Of course, there will be transportation and permit regulations to overcome, but when a billionaire offers to solve a crisis-level problem in your city, it’s amazing how fast doors can open for him.
This new project adds another layer to Musk’s obsession with meeting population needs through bigger and bolder ideas, something that a number of Silicon Valley cohorts are famous for.