The Boring Company isn’t just talk — work is being done as we speak. For the uninitiated, it’s Elon Musk’s ambitious project to bore transportation tunnels underground, with the hopes of later creating a super-fast mass transit system called the Hyperloop, which will travel connect cities. Earlier this year, we got to see one of the boring machines — amusingly named Godot — before it began its work. It looks well, boring, but the results will be revolutionary.
Ground for the first route is being broken in California, where Musk devised the idea after being stalled in Los Angeles’ nightmarish traffic. See? Elon Musk is just like us. “First set of tunnels are to alleviate greater LA urban congestion,” he wrote on his Twitter account in July, and we can hear the sighs of relief from Los Angeliños all the way from New York.
He has said that he doesn’t spend much time with the Boring Company, and considers it more of a “hobby” Thankfully for us, his hobbies include attempting to redefine public transportation for the next century.
On Saturday, he shared our first look at the tunnel on his Instagram. “The Boring Company tunnel under LA,” Musk writes, along with an image of a pretty spectacular hole in the ground. We’re not being facetious — it is spectacular when you consider how important this tunnel will be. As the prototype tunnel, this one will set the blueprints for future boring in other cities.
In a follow-up comment, Musk goes further to explain how the tunnels will ease traffic. “First route will go roughly parallel to the 405 from LAX to [Highway] 101, with on/offramps every mile or so,” he writes, which sounds similar to how freeways function above ground. “…Electric skates carrying vehicles and people pods on the main artery travel at up to 150mph, and the skates switch to side tunnels to exit and enter. This is a big difference compared to subways that stop at every stop, whether you’re getting off or not.”
Musk’s tunnel idea was made public back in January 2016, when during remarks at Texas A&M University during a hyperloop passenger pod design competition, Musk drew laughs when he said “it’s just a hole in the ground” about the simplicity of tunnels. Just shy of a year later, in December Musk again brought up the tunnels idea and announced he would start the Boring Company. It was soon clear that the Boring Company was started with hyperloop in mind — in additino to the skates on which cars would travel.