Elon Musk has said that he was actually being serious about plans to establish The Boring Company for digging tunnels to ease road congestion, and says the first would be built outside his office at SpaceX in California.
Musk first tweeted about his tunneling plan in December, 2016 after being stuck in traffic, and now says he has made "exciting progress" on the project, with boring to begin in the coming weeks.
In the early hours of Wednesday (25 January 2017), Musk tweeted: "Exciting progress on the tunnel front. Plan to start digging in a month or so". When asked by a follower if he was "seriously serious", Musk replied: "Yup".
Asked by another follower about the location of the tunnel, Musk said: "Starting across from my desk at SpaceX. Crenshaw and the 105 Freeway, which is five minutes from LAX [Los Angeles airport]."
Musk said in December: "Traffic is driving me nuts. Am going to build a tunnel boring machine and just start digging... It shall be called 'The Boring Company' ...Boring, it's what we do".
Two hours later he added: "I am actually going to do this" and changed his Twitter bio to read: "Tesla, SpaceX, Tunnels (yes, tunnels) and OpenAI". His bio now reads: "Tesla, SpaceX, Tunnels & OpenAI".
This isn't the first time that Musk has shown a fondness for building a network of underground tunnels. After an event in January 2016 where Musk spoke about the Hyperloop, an 800mph train he conceptualised in 2013, a question-and-answer session brought up tunnels.
Musk said: "It's a really simple and obvious idea and I wish more people would do it: build more tunnels. Tunnels are great. It's just a hole in the ground – it's not that hard. But if you have tunnels in cities you would massively alleviate congestion and you could have tunnels at all different levels; you could probably have 30 layers of tunnels and completely fix the congestion problem in high-density cities. So, I strongly recommend tunnels."
A neural lace network
The boss of the Tesla electric car company and SpaceX, a rocket manufacturer with plans to colonise Mars, Musk is well known for his "moonshot" ideas and turning them into reality. He also tweeted on 25 January to say his plans for a "neural lace" brain hack, augmenting human intelligence and connecting our thoughts to computers, could be announced "maybe next month".
Tweeting in June 2016, Musk said: "Creating a neural lace is the thing that really matters for humanity to achieve symbiosis with machine".