Not really digging this

Dig Dug final TeslaMondoLast night, we learned that the Boring Company can do for tunneling what Space X did for space exploration: take a first-principles approach and get vastly improved results for lower cost. This will make life better for water pipes and electrical lines.

But people? Hmmm.

At this early stage, the efficiency gains in tunneling are wasted on an inefficient and dangerous means of human transport. A tunnel is best traveled by something long and tubular, like a subway train, not a teensy pod that carries a handful of people and needs special elevators. Moreover, car tires have no place in an MRI-like tunnel with no margin for error and no means of user-abort if things go wrong. That’s why subways use rails. They’re not perfect, but they sure beat rubber. Better yet, bring on the Hyperloop subway propulsion system already.

Cities are 3D, but the transportation serving them is 2D. That’s the problem, says Musk. Well, cities are 3D above ground, while tunnel systems are 3D underground. If the underground vehicles need to surface, you’ll have bottlenecks. Unless we start building underground cities to complement a renaissance in tunneling, and get the Hyperloop technology working to boot, the Boring capillary system will suffer blood clots and strokes, just like our highway arteries of today. The Boring company will merely turn the highway clusterfucks of today into the tunnel clusterfucks of tomorrow.


8 thoughts on “Not really digging this

  1. Michael says:

    Agreed, seems nuts to expend all that energy boring tunnels
    Why not smaller above ground mini rails with minimal support infrastructure
    Then you are 3D above ground, great view, fast & quiet.

    And you’ll have a chance at survival during inevitable earthquakes coming to LA

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Brian says:

    Still in the early stages of all of this. As for the earthquakes, if you didn’t get it when Elon mentioned it in the past, here’s a link:

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Grumeau Salsa says:

    It’s better to get them to work on Earth than on Mars in the first place. But I was quite bored by the presentation and this infancy of the technology. Independent skids would be better that what we saw.


  4. snotty says:

    I’m more of a car guy – in particular, an EV guy, so I’ve been devoting about 5% of my attention to the Boring activities since I’m not a hole guy. From all the things I’ve seen so far, nothing has excited me. I’m generally in agreement with TeslaMondo on this; I don’t see a big future in it and I don’t see it as a game changer. This last big hoo-ha demonstrated a Model X driving in a tunnel, but it was fitted with some weird horizontal wheels. So, what, everyone has to have these weird wheels installed now? What happened to the sleds? Maybe I missed something, but then again, I just don’t care that much. Maybe it will make sense when Elon colonizes Mars. What could go wrong there? I’m just thankful that the company is not part of Tesla.


  5. Whity Whiteman says:

    You are all right. The disruption is just in the ppm (price per mile).


  6. NonHaterade Drinker says:

    Surprised at the negativity here, and it seems like you’re making the leap right into a huge network of tunnels. Let them start with one or two in high-traffic areas and see how it goes. I think they will be very marketable, and people will put up with the risk of whatever calamity you’re assuming to avoid traffic on their commutes.


  7. Dr. Miguelito Loveless says:

    Absolutely true. The leap forward is in reducing the cost of tunnelling for water, sewer and utility lines. Transport? Stick to EVs with automated driving.


  8. Anon says:

    Grumeau is correct. All this Boring Stuff ™ has far more to do with Mars than Earth.

    Make it cheaper.

    Make it faster.

    Make it weigh less.

    Make it fit on a Rocket and build colonies with it.


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