With Tesla's success and financial muscle, its CEO Elon Musk is free to explore new ventures such as his SpaceX and the solar roof project he has just unveiled. His latest interest seems to have zoomed in on tunnels.
Musk vs. Traffic
This came after an exasperated Musk posted at Twitter that the traffic is driving him nuts so he is going to build a machine that will bore him tunnels allowing him to dash about whichever city he is in, pursuing his affairs with the level of alacrity and efficiency that are on par with his discriminating standards.
Traffic is driving me nuts. Am going to build a tunnel boring machine and just start digging...
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 17, 2016
The post seemed a joke to make light of his frustration with traffic. But, it appears that it is his next big idea. If you head to his Twitter profile, you will now find that tunnels have been added to his bio. He states that Tesla, SpaceX, OpenAI and, "yes, tunnels" as the things that occupy him.
Musk: Tunnels Are Happening
Last Dec. 17, he again posted at Twitter stating that he is actually going to go for the tunnels, reinforcing an earlier tweet that christened the unit that will execute his plan as The Boring Company. If successful, he would effectively be roaming the ground, above ground and underground with his products and businesses.
It will not be surprising if the widely regarded visionary would bore his way past the Earth's core to install a shortcut or some chute to ferry him to the other side of the globe.
There are those who say that Musk's response to the traffic situation is juvenile. But there remains the fact that he has the capability to act on his whim.
If the rest of us could manage to keep from judging Musk's latest idea or from viewing it as nothing but ludicrous, one would find that the tunnels could actually fit with some of his current pursuits. For instance, it could complement his Hyperloop venture, a mass-transit system that would be shuttling people in pods through tubes in a journey that could reach the speed of sound.
An underground road system, however, could prove complicated. It will be unprecedented, at least as a project for a private entity. It could require new regulatory policy or a special grant to secure the rights of underground land. Property law in the United States is partly founded on the maxim that "whoever owns the soil, holds title all the way up to the heavens and down to the depths of hell."
Of course, property law is much more complicated than that. You cannot, for example, prevent a plane from passing the space above your property. But such complications will still have to be resolved. Musk, however, seems to be thinking more in response to Donald Trump's position that infrastructure requires rebuilding. One should note that the Tesla CEO has been selected as one of Trump's advisors, so he will have his ears for ambitious projects like his tunnels.