Who's the craziest ultra-rich, would-be supervillain in the whole wide world? It's Elon. Elon Musk.
Image: YouTube / The Boring Company
During a TED talk on Friday, the professional technology brainstormer offered an animated glimpse at what his new tunnelling project, The Boring Company, could one day create. It looks like a post-apocalyptic slot car race that takes place underneath the city of Los Angeles, shielding Tesla owners from the radiation bombarding surface dwellers in the wake our inevitable judgement day. It looks pretty cool, though!
Think of it as a future free of traffic and sunlight. On the surface, Musk explained, cars would drive onto sled-like devices that would descend into the bowels of the Earth, where Musk's Boring Company has built a vast network of tunnels. From there, apparently, the sleds connect to a track that sends the cars zooming through the tubes at speeds of 200km/h. There would be no need to fret about crashing, either, since some supercomputer (somewhere) could carefully direct traffic so that each car and sled rides at a safe but efficient distance from the next one. When all is said and done, you could get from Compton to Malibu in, who knows, maybe a few minutes.
To call this a pipe dream would be both cheeky and incredibly correct. Musk admitted months ago that he and the Boring Company "have no idea what we're doing". Building a vast maze of tunnels and tubes underneath Los Angeles is not only riddled with regulatory challenges but would also amount to an engineering nightmare of, well, apocalyptic proportions. What we're seeing in his very nicely computer-animated demo is better described as a madman's fantasy than a feasible concept.
But hey, we already told you: Elon Musk is the craziest ultra-rich, would-be supervillain in the whole wide world. You have to give him credit for playing that role with panache.