Teslas are sleek and sexy and the newest thing around, so it would seem only natural for Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla to be getting on board with flying car development. After all, flying cars are in all the futuristic films and look like a lot of fun. But that’s not the case with Musk.
The Problem with Flying Cars
Even though some big names (and big money) including Larry Page (of Google fame) and Uber are working on developing the new technology, the innovative exec says he can’t imaging fly cars being a scalable solution to the traffic problem.
He also says they would produce a lot of noise and wind, which would be problematic for people beneath them. And since congested cities are the most important area for providing traffic relief, that would be a serious problem. And collisions could result in falling debris, which would be another hazard, Musk also pointed out, adding examples of how even poor maintenance could result in danger to those on the ground.
Musk Has Other Ideas
It isn’t surprising that Musk has a solution in mind, though. It’s hard to imagine that creating 30 layers of tunnels below the city of Los Angeles and transporting vehicles through them on what he refers to as “skates” would be more feasible, but that’s the plan.
He’s also the founder and CEO of SpaceX, located in Hawthorn, Ca., in southwestern Los Angeles County, and that’s where his new venture, the Boring Company, has started to drill. Starting in-house, Boring’s first tunnel is being done on SpaceX property, to connect the campus building with the parking lot on the other side of a busy city street.
High Speed Transport
Musk’s envisioned tunnel system would allow drivers to take their own cars or travel on mass-transit skates, but drivers would not be doing any driving in the tunnels. Each vehicle would drive onto a skate at ground level and be lowered into the tunnel, but then instead of driving off as if it were an elevator, the skate transports the car to its destination. This would allow for safe transport at speeds up to 130 miles per hour. Another way the underground tunnels could be used is for more traditional trains.
Low Speed Construction
Drilling tunnels is very slow. It’s also expensive, but the Boring Company is attempting to change both those things by developing a process that allows them to reinforce walls as they drill.
It may all sound like some crazy sci-fi, but that’s where all our other tech advances got their starts, so maybe “below ground” will become the highway of the future. For now, we’ll have to stick with the highways of the present, above ground in the daylight where your vehicle can be seen. You can sharpen up the look of your vehicle by replacing your faded and jaded license plate holder with a stealthy black license plate frame.