Elevators that put your car on an underground train

Carlos Carabaña

Elon Musk –series entrepreneur, rock star of the tech world and lord and master of Tesla– must suffer from hyperactivity. His projects are counted in the dozens: electric cars, putting 12,000 satellites in orbit to create an alternative to undersea cables, creating a cyborg dragon, colonising Mars…His ideas seem endless and occur to him in the most surprising places. Even while sitting in traffic jams.

Inspired by the horrendous traffic in Los Angeles, the multimillionaire dreamed up a radical solution: create subterranean tunnels connected to the surface by elevators the size of a car. The idea is that, to avoid the traffic, a driver could put his vehicle in that elevator, which would lower it onto some underground rails that would move it from one side of the city to the other, thus avoiding traffic jams. The firm would be called, quite logically, The Boring Company, and it’s explained quite well in a video they released a few months ago.

Although the idea is far from becoming reality, Musk is a fellow who has proposed crazy ideas before, and –overcoming popular amazement– has ended up carrying them out. Indeed, to coincide with the public launch of this project, Musk released on Twitter images of a 1,200-ton tunnelling machine with which he is building a test tunnel at Space X, his aerospace company.

For Musk, these two companies, in spite of being economically independent, share a basic concept: technology that for decades has been mired in routine can be reworked to create a revolution if costs can be reduced. If he can convince the authorities, cities could have as many as 40 different levels of tunnels. Many people thinks this is impossible, but they’re probably the same ones who thought he would never be able to launch a rocket with a Tesla car inside.

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