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Elon Gets His Boring Machine

What do you think about when you're stuck in traffic?

April 28, 2017

Last December, Tesla founder Elon Musk tweeted he was fed up with traffic and planned to build a tunnel boring machine to just start digging his way out of traffic hassles.

Sure enough, a big white tunnel boring machine, with 'The Boring Company' (Boring, it's what we do) painted on the side arrived at Musk's SpaceX facility in Hawthorne, California.

According to The Daily Breeze, SpaceX officials did not comment, and a SpaceX employee immediately took down a photo of the machine he had posted on social media.

Listen to Musk's TED talk here.

As it happens, a 950-ton, 400-foot-long tunnel boring unit named "Harriet" used in Los Angles for a light-rail project recently became available. The day after Harriet finished up work in LA, Musk submitted plans to Hawthorne officials to build an underground pedestrian tunnel from SpaceX headquarters to its parking garage across Crenshaw Boulevard. Harriet will be charged with digging a 500-foot-long, horizontal pedestrian tunnel that is 20-by-150 feet and 13.5 feet in diameter, according to interim Hawthorne City Manager Arnie Shadbehr.

Musk has a fascination with transportation and has put forward ideas on new types of mass-transit such as his Hyperloop plan and tunnels for automobiles. He's said his ultimate goal is to improve tunnel engineering to build tunnels better and faster.

“We’re going to try to figure out what it takes to improve tunneling speed between 500 and 1,000 percent. So we’re just sort of muddling along. We have no idea what we’re doing. We’re going to get this (tunnel-boring) machine, take it apart (and) figure out how to make it go faster while still being safe and not affecting people on the surface.”

Curious how tunnel boring machines work? Watch this video:

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