Elon Musk’s plan to dig tunnels under cities for cars to circumvent traffic is coming to fruition — starting in the SpaceX parking lot in Los Angeles.
The serial entrepreneur is breaking ground with his new startup The Boring Company, which Musk says should have its first car elevator operating next week.
The idea with the Boring Company — which Musk first introduced in a series of tweets last December while lamenting about how much he hated sitting in traffic — is to lower cars underground with an elevator. The cars will then travel on a platform, like a skate, to zip through a tunnel at speeds up to 130 miles per hour.
Musk shared a short video of the car elevator being built that goes underground Friday on Twitter, which he says should be operational next week:
The Boring Company has now completed the first segment of a tunnel in Los Angeles, Musk said on Twitter. He started digging in the parking lot of SpaceX, his other company that builds and launches rockets for interplanetary travel.
No longer waiting for Godot. It has begun boring and just completed the first segment of tunnel in LA.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 28, 2017
The tunnel digging machine is named Godot, inspired by Samuel Beckett’s infamous 1953 play about procrastination, Waiting for Godot.
It’s not clear whether the Boring Company has been successful in getting permission from the city of L.A., but Musk says he has had talks with the mayor, pointing out that it will be harder to get regulatory approval for his tunnels than figure out the technology.
At the TED Conference in April, the Tesla CEO showed an animation illustrating how the tunnel system would work.
“There’s no real limit to how many levels of tunnels you can have,” Musk explained. “The deepest mines are much deeper than the tallest buildings are tall.”
Here’s a video of a test run of the electric platform system that would skate cars underground at super fast speeds. Musk estimates it could take a car from the Westwood area of Los Angeles to the Los Angeles International Airport, LAX, in five minutes.