Elon Musk has claimed the land with his auto company Tesla, and the realm of space with SpaceX. Now, he is seeking to claim the underground depths for travel with his newest enterprise, the Boring Company.
Musk revealed his plans and progress at the latest TED conference in Vancouver, Canada, Friday, April 28, 2017.
Frustration Leads to Innovation
The concept is a vast underground network of tunnels beneath Los Angeles through which cars and high-speed trains could travel, instead of being nearly frozen in place during legendary traffic jams. Musk has people working on it now.
It was frustration with that very phenomenon which compelled the inventor to this new venture. He tweeted on December 17, 2016:
Traffic is driving me nuts. Am going to build a tunnel boring machine and just start digging… It shall be called ‘The Boring Company’
The billionaire innovator set to work on the idea immediately. He chose Steve Davis, a senior engineer at SpaceX, to develop the project. They have already begun a “demo tunnel” in the parking lot of the SpaceX factory in Los Angeles.
Musk Is a Man of Exceptional Vision
The CEO of Tesla and SpaceX is South African by birth. He showed an early interest in computers as a child and taught himself how to program computers before he was a teenager. He also showed business sense at the same time, as he created his own computer game and successfully sold it, at age 12.
Years later, Musk began his visionary ventures in Silicon Valley. He had enrolled at Stanford to pursue a Ph.D. in physics. He also happened to arrive at the time the technology boom was beginning.
Musk saw the potential and, like Bill Gates and others told college life goodbye. He dropped out of school after two days to pursue his fortune. He then launched his first company, the Zip2 Corporation.
Zip2 functioned as an “online city guide.” It was so successful that a division of Compaq Computers bought it in 1999 for “$307 million in cash and $34 million in stock options.”
A Musk online financial company led to the creation of PayPal, in 2000. PayPal was purchased by eBay for $1.5 billion in stock.
The Tech Guru of Travel
Conquering land travel with innovative energy ideas spurred Musk to the auto industry and the founding of Tesla Motors. The electric auto company has made waves in an industry dominated by gasoline vehicles. At the Vancouver TED conference, he spoke of the plans for an electric semi-truck, the Tesla Semi:
Musk says he has driven the prototype and it handles like a sports car. Musk called it “spry” — an adjective seldom applied to Class 8 trucks that stand 12 feet tall.
SpaceX is another company proving to make the improbable, actually plausible, and perhaps profitable. In January 2017, the company landed its Falcon 9 rocket safely on the “X” of the SpaceX logo on a barge in the Atlantic.
There have been rockets that exploded in their attempts, but this was the seventh time one has been landed safely after delivering payloads into space for a fee. In February, Musk announced that, as soon, as 2018, SpaceX would be ready to send two paying passengers on a ride around the moon.
If SpaceX can manage this accomplishment, Musk will have conquered land and space as areas for profitable ventures. He may soon be claiming the underground realm for travel as well with the Boring Company.
This remarkable innovator has the drive, determination, and money to have a, more than even, chance of accomplishing the daunting tasks he is attempting.
If he plans to send passengers to the moon next year, perhaps it will happen. If he believes he can solve the traffic problems of cities with the Boring Company, maybe his futuristic idea will come to fruition. Whatever path his ideas might eventually take, it promises to be an exciting journey.
By D.T. Osborn
Edited by Cathy Milne
BIOGRAPHY: Elon Musk
Bloomberg Businessweek: Elon Musk Is Really Boring
Business Insider: CleanTechnica: Musk Talks About Tesla Semi, More Gigafactories, & Electric Roller Skates
CNN: SpaceX returns to flight, nails rocket landing
Forbes: Land And Air Travel Aren’t Enough For Elon Musk. He’s Going Underground
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