Elon Musk's 'Boring' Tunnel System Speeds Cars Along at 130 MPH

The SpaceX and Tesla CEO talked about his new side project at TED.
Elon Musk's 'Boring' Tunnel System Speeds Cars Along at 130 MPH
Image credit: The Boring Company

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If Elon Musk gets his way, there will be interconnected systems of tunnels beneath our roads, with elevators that bring vehicles down to sleds that then shoot them off on rails at 130 MPH. Check out this video to see what he means:

The system will be managed by a computer and resembles packets of data going around, much like broadband internet.

Related: Here's Your First Look at Elon Musk's Tunnel Drilling Machine

That's the vision the Tesla and SpaceX co-founder shared today at TED for his new side project, The Boring Company, which he added he only devotes 2 to 3 percent of his time to.

“There’s no real limit to how many levels of tunnels you can have,” he said. “The deepest mines are much deeper than the tallest buildings are tall.”

Still, there's lots of work to be done at The Boring Company, which currently only has interns and part-timers working to fulfill Musk's dreams of reducing traffic. For one, the boring machines are slow.

“We have a pet snail named Gary,” he said. “Gary is capable of currently going 14 times faster than a tunnel boring machine. We want to beat Gary. He’s not a patient little fellow, that will be victory. Victory will be beating the snail.”

Musk also shed light on why he sees tunnels as a good solution for traffic as opposed to flying cars, which he said are noisy and generate lots of wind.

Related: Uber Unveils Personal Airplane Design and Plans Tests in 2020

"Let's just say if something is flying over your head ... that is not an anxiety-reducing situation," he said. "You don’t think to yourself 'Well, I feel better about today.' You’re thinking … 'Is it going to come off and guillotine me as it comes flying past?'"

You know, that thought never crossed my mind, but now that you mention it, Elon, tunnels are sounding pretty good.

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