Elon Musk Wants to Turn the LA Underground Into a Giant Slot Car Race

Image: YouTube / The Boring Company

Who’s the craziest ultra-rich, would-be supervillain in the whole wide world? It’s Elon. Elon Musk.


During a Friday morning TED talk, the professional technology brainstormer offered an animated glimpse at what his new tunneling project, The Boring Company, could one day create. It looks like a post-apocalyptic slot car race that takes place underneath the city of Los Angeles, shielding Tesla owners from the radiation bombarding surface dwellers in the wake our inevitable judgement day. It looks pretty cool, though!

Think of it as a future free of traffic and sunlight. On the surface, Musk explained, cars would drive onto sled-like devices that would descend into the bowels of the Earth, where Musk’s Boring Company has built a vast network of tunnels. From there, apparently, the sleds connect to a track that sends the cars zooming through the tubes at speeds in excess of 120 miles per hour. There would be no need to fret about crashing, either, since some supercomputer (somewhere) could carefully direct traffic so that each car and sled rides at a safe but efficient distance from the next one. When all is said and done, you could get from Compton to Malibu in, who knows, maybe a few minutes.

To call this a pipe dream would be both cheeky and incredibly correct. Musk admitted months ago that he and the Boring Company “have no idea what we’re doing.” Building a vast maze of tunnels and tubes underneath Los Angeles is not only riddled with regulatory challenges but would also amount to an engineering nightmare of, well, apocalyptic proportions. What we’re seeing in his very nicely computer-animated demo is better described as a madman’s fantasy than a feasible concept.

But hey, we already told you: Elon Musk is the craziest ultra-rich, would-be supervillain in the whole wide world. You have to give him credit for playing that role with panache.


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God help me, yes I can see this working.

Obviously, the whole “pull up to the curb” concept is fanciful, but it’s not out of the question to have terminals that users would drive into.

The tunnels themselves don’t have to be large at all; they only need to be barely wide enough to clear the sleds. The sleds themselves can be electric with minimal battery on board because they’d be powered through the slot.

Ideally, the car’s systems will be integrated so that full communications can be maintained underground. As well, it would be best for the car and the sled to “talk” to each other for roll-on/roll-off and to notify the driver that they’ll need to resume control at the destination.