Just what does Elon Musk’s Boring Company want to accomplish? This might be our clearest picture yet – a video shown during Musk’s TEDTalk from Friday morning, which includes a rendering of a future underground transit network where cars travel on crisscrossing layers of tunnels that include sleds shuttling vehicles around on rails at around 130 mph.
Musk’s vision includes parking spots that are actually elevator shaft entrances, where drivers can pull in and descend to the network below. Once underground, the car will travel along in a sled, merging with other tunnels and being integrated seamlessly into a network that includes other packets, all controlled by computer for maximum efficiency.
Traveling in this way will allow speeds to exceed what’s possible on the surface, and result in network optimization of routing that’s not unlike what happens with packets of data in a broadband communications network powering the Internet today.
The network would have advantages over surface routes not just because of intelligent routing, but also because of its 3D structure – above ground, roadways can only really stack at most two or three deep, and generally theirs really only one. Underground, there’s potential for many layers crisscrossing one another, which helping optimize for whatever destinations a driver may have.
Musk said on stage at the event that he only really spends about two to three percent of his time on The Boring Company, which means this vision is still likely a very far-off one in terms of becoming a real thing people can actually use. But if Musk is good at one thing, it’s presenting a compelling vision for the future – and sometimes, he makes that vision a reality, too.