— As a proud resident of the city with the country — nay, the world's — worst traffic, I'll listen to pretty much any idea that aims to reduce the congestion in Los Angeles. We've tried everything here from widening the freeways to adding more public transportation to adding high occupancy vehicle lanes. None of it seems to ease the rows of nearly stationary vehicles clogging the arteries of our fair city.
So when Elon Musk says, "Let's drill some holes under the city and shoot cars around in them at more than 200 mph," my first instinct isn't to think, "That is a crazy idea." It's to cross my fingers and say to myself, "Yeah, that could work."
Musk recently shared an Instagram post showing a Tesla Model S sitting in a section of the tunnel to demonstrate how a car could fit in it — this after The Boring Co. (solid, solid pun) earlier shared this video of one of the electrically powered sleds making a 125-mph run through a section of the tunnel earlier this year.
Looking at the width of the tunnel, it barely seems large enough to fit the car and the sled it's riding on. But keeping the tunnel diameter lower actually lowers the costs of drilling and requires less earth to be moved overall.
The Boring Co. also showed a demonstration of the car elevator lowering a Model S into a tunnel, presumably onto an electric sled:
Earlier in August, the City Council of Hawthorne, Calif., — where the current tunnel is being constructed under SpaceX headquarters — voted to allow The Boring Co. to dig another two miles of tunnel under the city for further testing. Musk's eventual goal is to extend the tunnel further into L.A., ending at Los Angeles International Airport.
There's still a very, very long way to go for this idea to come to fruition. But if it gets cars off the freeway and makes traversing the city easier, I'm hopeful that we see more positive steps in the near future.