Tunnel digging at Elon Musk’s The Boring Company are well underway. The serial tech entrepreneur has unveiled first photos showing the company’s boring machine being loaded into a tunnel beneath SpaceX. The newly named Boring Company machine will be called Godot and the first of a series of machines that will be responsible for digging a 3D tunnel network beneath Los Angeles, as envisioned by Musk.
“You can alleviate any arbitrary level of open congestion with a 3D tunnel network.” said Musk recently at TED2017. “There’s no real limit to how many levels of tunnels you can have.”
Musk also released a video on Instagram showing a proof of concept of the ‘electric sled’ that will serve as the basis for transporting passenger vehicles underground at speeds up to 125 mph (200 km/h). The key differentiator between a traditional tunnel that typically spans 26 to 28-feet in diameter and The Boring Company’s tunnel is that the later is roughly half the size. Digging smaller tunnels allows Musk’s company to substantially reduce the cost of creating underground tunnels while also speeding up the process of digging, cutting the time associated with digging by as much as 75%. Godot will also be able to create the tunnel wall while it’s digging, which will be a far departure from the stop-and-go process found in traditional tunnel digging. Traditional machines dig slowly and incrementally, stopping to install reinforcements to newly exposed earth wall before continuing.