Elon Musk has unveiled a tunnel boring machine (TBM) on Twitter, confirming rumours he plans to dig a road route under Los Angeles, California, to ease traffic congestion.
Minecraft pic.twitter.com/lU1YzJjLOZ— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 4, 2017
Tesla chief executive Musk elaborated on his plans in a direct Twitter message to Wired magazine last week, explaining his idea to cure the city’s traffic problems with underground tunnels.
“If you think of tunnels going 10, 20, 30 layers deep (or more), it is obvious that going 3D down will encompass the needs of any city’s transport of arbitrary size,” he said.
A 4.5m deep “test trench” of 9m wide and 15m long has already been dug at Musk company SpaceX’s Los Angeles headquarters, according to Wired. As it is private land, he does not yet need planning permission.
Musk first announced his plans on Twitter in December after a frustrating encounter with Los Angeles traffic.
Traffic is driving me nuts. Am going to build a tunnel boring machine and just start digging...— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 17, 2016
The move was met with suspicion after he revealed his tunnelling company would be called “The Boring Company,” leading many to question his commitment to the idea.
However, he changed his Twitter bio to read, “Tesla, SpaceX, Tunnels & OpenAI” and reignited interest last month when he seemed to suggest that work on the tunnel would go ahead.
Exciting progress on the tunnel front. Plan to start digging in a month or so.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 25, 2017
It remains to be seen whether Musk – who is chief executive of Tesla, a company specialising in electric cars and renewable power – will obtain planning permission from the Los Angeles authorities.