Late last night Musk tweeted an image of a large boring machine with the cutting head unattached with the caption “Minecraft”. Last week workers were spotted excavating a test trench 30 feet wide, 50 feet long, and 15 feet deep in front of SpaceX’s Los Angeles headquarters. The excavation's current location corresponds with Musk’s wish of developing a seven mile tunnel between the 105 freeway and the entrance of SpaceX’s headquarters. It is unclear whether Musk constructed the boring machine or is retrofitting an old one.
The passionate Tesla CEO initially pitched the idea this past December on Twitter after lamenting the state of LA’s infamous traffic. He believes that tunnels will greatly help the city’s congestion. He remarked, “You have tall buildings, they’re all 3D, and then everyone wants to go into the building and leave the building at a same time. On a 2D road network, that obviously doesn’t work, so you have to go 3D either up or down. And I think probably down.”
Musk also believes that his latest project will increase tunneling speeds “somewhere between 500 and 1,000 percent”. He insists that if boring is easier and faster, companies and governments will be more willing to embrace tunnels. Musk did admit, despite his lofty goals, that “they don’t really know what they are doing” with regards to tunneling.
Minecraft pic.twitter.com/lU1YzJjLOZ— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 4, 2017
Although most people initially thought Musk was joking about “The Boring Company,” his latest project actually compliments his already existing companies. One of Tesla’s goals is to “to accelerate the world's transition to sustainable transport...and energy”. Tunnels could potentially reduce fuel consumption and engine emissions. Tunnels could also be useful in SpaceX’s plans for Mars colonization, as they could help create future habitats on Mars that keep colonists safe from the planet’s harsh surface climate.
For now, Musk believes that his project is making “exciting progress”. He plans to officially start tunneling at the end of the month.