New Technology Elon Musk tunnel boring idea

Published on December 18th, 2016 | by Steve Hanley

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Elon Musk Tunnel Plan Is Full Of Holes

December 18th, 2016 by  
 

In the past few days, the Elon Musk tunnel plan has gotten a lot of attention, particularly in the Twittersphere. The indomitable Mr. Musk is a certified genius; there’s no debate about that. The man’s brain works in strange and mysterious ways. He woke up one morning with the idea that a private company could make rockets for less than what NASA pays and SpaceX was born. As long as you have a space exploration company, why not send people to Mars and create colonies there where wealthy earthlings can live in peace? It’s the perfect solution to what comes next after the politicians here at home have used their well documented skills to destroy this planet’s ability to sustain life.

Elon Musk tunnel boring idea

Elon dreamed up a thing called the Hyperloop — which is sort of a long distance horizontal elevator — while sitting in traffic near Los Angeles one day. Now traffic has spawned another idea from the mind of Musk. Call it the Elon Musk tunnel plan.

The idea exploded across Twitter, so Elon made another tweet a few hours later.

Oh, but Musk didn’t stop there. A short while later he was back on Twitter fanning the flames.

Musk has now added “Tunnels (yes, tunnels)” as one of his focus areas on his Twitter account.

Has Elon finally gone around the bend? Has his mind snapped under the weight of all that intellectual horsepower sequestered inside his cranium? Or has the the shock of sitting in the same room with The Donald earlier this week warped his synapses? Let’s take a look at the practicality of Musk’s latest idea.

First of all, digging tunnels is not as easy as pushing the start button on a boring machine. Traffic is only an issue in cities and cities tend to have an awful lot of infrastructure buried beneath them. There are phone lines, electrical cables, subways, sewers, and water mains all over the place. Many of them are not shown accurately on any map. Some have been there since the 19th century.

Tunnels through rock — such as those found all over northern Italy — are one thing, but holes in the ground through dirt, mud, or clay require extensive and expensive concrete reinforcement to keep what’s above them from cascading down on those unfortunate enough to be trapped below. Any miner knows you don’t just dig a tunnel without making sure it is properly braced.

Musk’s idea is basically that if traffic is bad on the FDR in New York City,  a driver could elect to simply duck into a nearby tunnel and come out a few minutes later on Delaney Street and carry on unimpeded by traffic. Musk envisions as many as 30 levels of tunnels in some heavily traveled areas. Can you imagine 30 levels of tunnels under Times Square?

With all due respect to Elon Musk, this idea is less feasible than sending people to Mars. The way to combat traffic is not to build tunnels, it is to reduce the amount of traffic. That is precisely what the brave new worlds of autonomous driving and ride sharing are expected to do. Typically, a private car is used about 5% of the day. Putting the same car to use 24 hours a day would remove 95% of the cars from city streets. That’s how you reduce congestion. Even if a self driving car is only utilized 50% of the time, that still eliminates the need for 9 out of every 10 cars in cities.

I have been accused of being a Musk fanboi. I have also been accused of being a Musk hater. I am neither. I have great admiration for the man’s ability to focus on a task and get it done regardless of the obstacles in the way. I also think there is a fine line between genius and insanity. If I could swap Musk for Trump in the White House, I would do so in a heartbeat, but I think this latest idea is just plain goofy. As my old Irish grandmother would say, “Elon, stick to your own knitting.”

Photo credit: NYMTACC via Foter.com / CC BY





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About the Author

I have been a car nut since the days when Rob Walker and Henry N. Manney, III graced the pages of Road & Track. Today, I use my trusty Miata for TSD rallies and occasional track days at Lime Rock and Watkins Glen. If it moves on wheels, I'm interested in it. Please follow me on Google + and Twitter.



  • oldcarman

    He is a certified idiot and huckster. Pshaw!

    • Janice and Rusty WIlliams

      Well, when Green Energy Credits were available for electric cars, let’s face it, his company had access to a lot of free government funds.

      • Kieran Delaney

        You mean the ‘free government funds’ that Tesla paid back long before the deadline given to them? Or the ‘free government funds’ that are miniscule in comparison to the ‘free government funds’ that are ‘awarded’ to fossil fuel companies?

        Really, the sign of a terrible argument (and of insanity) is repeating the same thing over and over…

        The anti-Tesla drones need a new argument…that is assuming there ever was a valid one.

      • Rhys

        He made the first interesting car in 100 years. Zero to Sixty in 2.8 seconds. Perfect score from consumer reports. Safest vehicle ever made. Every car company receives massive subsidies from the tax payer anyway… know how much a highway costs per mile? How many cars would we have without highways? You’re a fool or a shill.

    • Rhys

      You’re an idiot! Wow pejoratives are awesome! How is a man who can get a rocket to land on its exhaust an idiot? Oh wait… he’s not an idiot it is the most interesting industrialist in America since Howard Hughes.

  • shuttlecocker

    Elon Musk ‘must’ stay on track with his outlandish ‘underland’ ideas. Why not? I ask, no one else is doing it. First Spacex, then Hyperloop and now a tunnel network that’s the stuff dreams are made of, some dreams!

    • AugustineThomas

      SpaceX keeps crashing rockets and there are competitors doing better work (and they didn’t even get free government money like Musk). Hyperloop is a joke and so is this tunnel idea. This guy knows that he’s not a real entrepreneur, he’s a celebrity for cultists like you. That’s why he shares all of his impossible, stupid fantasies.

      • shuttlecocker

        Hmmm, a cultist I’m not. I posted this to bait people like you a non cultist. I like his Tesla electric car but not really bowled over by his other ideas. Too extreme and futuristic, needing validation actually and proof of concept.
        Well I’m sorry these other entrepreneurs/’competitors’haven’t garnered any government funding. Do you know if they presented it to them?
        How about crowd funding, as in Kickstarter etc? There are dozens of them.
        Sober down AT and have a good Christmas, cheers!

        • AugustineThomas

          Merry Christmas. God bless you!

          • shuttlecocker

            Thx! God bless you too friend!

  • Hill

    People had the same opinion about Tesla and Space X. Their eating crow now but still talking smack. Change is hard but inevitable.

    • Bob Wallace

      Hyper loop isn’t going anywhere and neither will this

      • Haggy

        Hyperloop can be cheaper to implement than air travel, and is considerably faster. Why fly from SFO to LAX when you can get there much faster by catching the next loop? There will be initial costs for infrastructure, but this could end key parts of the airline industry.

        Things go places when there’s a strong economic interest. Tesla can’t make cars fast enough to satisfy demand. Their cars are universally acclaimed and when CR put out a report that said they had reliability issues (meaning problems with things such as noises) people acted as if they were dying in the middle of the road, and now that CR has reversed its position and is recommending the Model S, these critics have become awfully quiet about it. If they sincerely believe so strongly in recommendations from CR, they should now be crowing recommendations.

        • Bob Wallace

          Hyperloop has a lot of engineering issues to overcome before it could be commercialized, and Musk certainly shouldn’t be given credit for originating the idea of travel through evacuated tubes at high speed.

          • AugustineThomas

            Hyperloop is a joke. Those little boys have no idea what kind of maintenance it would take to keep that thing running as an actual transportation system. It’s a hundred years away but people will never even build it so who cares. Obama pipe dreams that waste our money are a thing of the past.

          • Rhys

            Bullshit. It is a steel pipe, solar panels, vacuum pumps, pressurized cars, and induction motors. Nothing new here. Just putting together off the shelf components. Do you represent something that would be disrupted by a modern transport system? In 100 years we could be working on orbital rings if we stopped spending 50% of our resources on having the biggest military on the planets.

          • AugustineThomas

            Right. It’s so simple to run a 5,000 lb object through a vacuum tube at 600mph. We know exactly what that would require in maintenance! Shmuck.

            You guys are such failures. This is the problem with investing in “science”. You don’t invest in science. You invest in a bunch of idiots who are only good at shmoozing government bloodsuckers to give them our tax money for impossible pipe dreams.

            President Trump is going to put the men back in control and you bloodsuckers are going to be looking for jobs at pizza parlors.

          • Rick Danger

            If we take all the pizza jobs, where will *you* work?

          • AugustineThomas

            Thanks for the ad hominem attack. Do you have an argument or are you just so hurt because you’re such a little Musk fanboi? Cultists hurt this country. You guys are a cult.

          • James Rowland

            You know what’s doing the worst damage – damage to democracy itself?

            Fake news stories, and the people who spread them. People like you.

          • AugustineThomas

            Give me a break you wannabe Soviet. You guys are just dying to outlaw opinions you disagree with. The biggest sources of fake news: the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, Huffington Post, the Atlantic, Salon, Politico, etc., etc., etc.

            That’s why you guys are so stupid you never saw Trump coming. You live in a filter bubble. The fact that I’m on this site shows that I get outside of my bubble a lot more than you do. But that’s understandable. You guys own the MSM and the university system and you lock out anyone who doesn’t share your cultist fantasies. That’s making you weak though, just like it made the Soviet Union weak.

          • James Rowland

            Oh, I saw Trump coming.

            Keep going, your wrongness is quite a show.

          • AugustineThomas

            You have any proof of that assertion? I’m pretty prophetic and if you check my Disqus, even I only saw the potential of Trump. I believed Hillary and her cabal would ruin him before he was elected.

          • James Rowland

            Most of the assertions you’ve made here have been immediately disproved; sorry, but trying to rest on your reputation here isn’t going to work, because your reputation is for being a toxic, ideology-spouting, post-truth nitwit.

          • AugustineThomas

            Good deal. You just say “you’re disproved” without even bothering with an argument. Typical Secularist Leftist (TSL).

          • James Rowland

            Boy, do you have me wrong.

            Your imperviousness to even acknowledging arguments were (successfully) made against you is also impressive reality denial. I guess your political beliefs are more important to you than your integrity.

            How about we have another look at your claim that Elon Musk paid $40M to Andrew Cuomo’s campaign fund, and did so through third parties? I focus on this because, despite fierce competition from yourself, it’s the most ridiculous claim you’ve made here.

            To pay that much money in one election cycle, and without breaking rules on donation limits, you’d need nearly a thousand cohorts. Even if you did it over all five, you’d need around two hundred.

            To evade detection, none of the people approached to do this could have reported it, nor anyone recruited have their fund movements noticed.

            To reap any benefit, Cuomo would also have had to spend this money, and again there is a mystery: his total campaign spend over all five of his election races is around $90M, yet there is no sign of such a huge increase in spending anywhere.

            You apparently either believe this conspiracy is possible, or haven’t thought about it.

            Well, I’m not going to believe it, because I’m not an idiot.

          • AugustineThomas

            You can easily Google “Elon Musk corruption”. If you write another 200 word essay instead of doing that, I can’t help you.

            Good luck bud! God bless you!

          • James Rowland

            Also, I can easily google “moon landing fake” and get a similar pile of crap.

            I have actually heard these allegations before, but unlike you, I actually care to check the credibility of sources.

            That you think 200 words is too long to warrant your attention pretty much sums you up.

          • AugustineThomas

            “Elon Musk’s SolarCity Sucked Into Federal Corruption Probe”
            That’s from the Daily Caller and links to a congressional report. (Bloomberg and CNBC also picked up on this story, which you can easily search, but would require you to pull your head out of the sand.)

            You don’t believe in respected media publications and you don’t believe congress, but MUSK WOULD NEVER LIE! Got it fanboi! Enjoy the Trump years. Musk will go bankrupt without free Obama money.

          • James Rowland

            Yes, I’m aware of the probe. If you’d read the actual documents, you’d know it concerns a potential conflict of interest: a building contractor selected for the project (LPCimnelli) employed a lobbyist (Todd Howe) as a consultant. That one’s on Cuomo, not Elon.

            I note you continue to put words in my mouth. Where did I refer to any statement from Musk, let alone insist on its veracity?

            If you knew anything about me, you’d know I’m not shy of criticising Elon’s ventures when they eff things up. I’m just not keen on fabrication, exaggeration or misrepresentation. (You, on the other hand, seem to love them.)

          • AugustineThomas

            “Yep. Business as usual! Nothing to see here! The taxpayers gave Musk a billion dollar factory for free because he’s such a genius.”

            You guys are so self-deluded and pathetic. (There are plenty of other reports on Musk’s Solyndra-style corruption. I can’t sit here all day and do your research for you because you’re a Secularist fundamentalist who sticks his head in the sand and keeps it there.)

          • James Rowland

            Yes. Business as usual. Plenty of development plans work exactly like this, though they are usually smaller.

          • AugustineThomas

            Yep and plenty of development plans are riddled with bribery and other forms of corruption. A healthy nation doesn’t tolerate this third world behavior.

          • James Rowland

            In this case, indirect bribery (by a contractor) was detected and dealt with, not tolerated.

            What, did you forget about the probe already?

          • AugustineThomas

            The probe pointed to his corruption. How naive are you? You think every corruption scheme is exposed immediately?
            This is always how it works. You hear one thing and sycophants shout it down, you hear another and they shout it down again but finally there’s a straw that breaks the camel’s back. (Please see Bill and Hillary Clinton.)

            Musk is finished if Trump keeps his promise and returns the country to its old tradition of running a (mostly) free market.

            There is no purely free market, but what Musk is doing is pure government corruption.

          • James Rowland

            How unprincipled are you to continuously make unsupported allegations?

          • AugustineThomas

            The guy is constantly being reported around giving bribes to officials and taking billions in government money. You guys are filter bubble people, Hillary people–you cover up and lie for anyone who supports your Secularist fantasies.

          • James Rowland

            Oh, he’s constantly been accused of corruption in the media bubble you occupy, but actual evidence? Not so much.

          • AugustineThomas

            Yep. Another “vast right wing conspiracy”. Hillary and Bill didn’t do anything wrong either!

          • James Rowland

            Oh, don’t get me started on the Clintons. Again, you have no idea who you are talking to if you think I’m going to defend them.

          • AugustineThomas

            Well at least we can agree on something.

            You know I actually visited SpaceX? I can’t believe I’m saying this, but if he was going to waste our tax money on something, why not SpaceX? That place is like Disneyland for fabricators and engineers. I saw a composite oven there that is bigger than the building that housed the previously largest composite oven I had ever seen. (They use it to create nose cones for their rockets.)

          • James Rowland

            Well, if you’re wondering why you’ve made such a poor impression here, more than anything else it’s this: you presume to tell me what my opinions are, when you should’ve asked.

            There is a lesson here about the cost of polarising, tribal political ideology here, if you’re willing to learn from it.

          • AugustineThomas

            I don’t care what impression you have of me. I think you’re a snowflake with no arguments. I was trying to be kind.

            Hilarious for a Musk Fanboi to lecture me on tribalism! 🙂

            Happy holidays bud!

          • James Rowland

            Maybe, as an alternative, you could try to be intellectually honest instead. I really don’t care for your “kindness”.

          • AugustineThomas

            You’re not intellectually honest you pathetic sycophant. Get a life. Stop living vicariously through a corrupt failure who will be bankrupt when the Obama money dries up.

          • James Rowland

            Uh huh.

            If there was a club that required unquestioning fealty to Musk, I would not be let in. Anyone who follows what I say in public knows this.

            You fail to acknowledge this due to your lack of intellectual honesty, which you have just demonstrated again.

            “Fanboi”? Sycophant? These slurs don’t detract from my credibility. They detract from yours.

          • AugustineThomas

            Whatever you say Musk Fanboi!

          • James Rowland

            So tell me, what will the excuse be?

          • Al Mather

            Wow… this fire hose of strawman stupidity just popped in the middle of a completely different conversation with a non stop accusation filled rant about “you guys ” (me)… that was so off the mark and filled with cliche assumptions … you had more patience with him than I . KUDOS.

          • Rhys

            What was your GPA in high school? Did you go to or finish college? Can you define kakistocracy without a dictionary? Did you lick your own ass this morning?

            Fake news… I actually wrote a paper about the failings of the news in college. I read Chompsky, Strauss, and McLuhan among others. I used Lexis Nexis to research the difference between AP and story and the papers. I wrote about Haiti and a officer who was arrested for conduct unbecoming an officer. I ever went as far as interviewing him over the phone for the paper. I’d tell you what I learned but I think you’re a coprophage.

          • AugustineThomas

            Please get help with your drug addiction and whatever other demons are making you such a foul mouth little rat.

            I have two bachelor’s degrees, one in history and one in English, from departments ranked in the top 25 in the world. I’m currently getting an MBA from one of the top 25 business schools in the world. I also learned Ancient Greek at two of the top universities in the world and completed a calculus course at, you guessed it, one of the top universities in the world. You?

          • Rhys

            Sure we all read Pop-Sci as kids but he did the math and called bullshit on the rest of the companies who make this stuff. The last real “invention” was the transistor. There is really very little new thought or ideas these days, it is mostly technical innovation and efficiency. As for engineering , great! Quit bitching and contribute then.

          • Zack

            To be clear, the transistor was nothing new either. It was simply a germanium-based simulation of the vacuum tube. So again, technical innovation and efficiency was at play. You can’t “invent” anything without those two things.

          • Bob Wallace

            Well i think he got ahead of the curve but the major automakers were already working with electric cars. He does deserve some credit, but he’s not a genius.

          • kevin mccune

            Well Guys lets get along and do something constructive , I for one am impressed by Augustines ” laurels ” there is no reason for this bickering everyone here seems intelligent. Something sort of similar to Elons scheme was tried once in the subway system ,apparently didn’t fare so well . Anyway Mr Musk likes the “big fish ” and you know what he pulls it off from time to time , as someone pointed out some of these things would actually work great on Mars .It wouldn’t be a great place to live but would make a great spaceport due to the resources available and weaker gravity compared to earth . But back to Earth ,one problem I see with the tunnels would be tectonic activity ,if things got misaligned a bit , it wouldn’t be good .
            That one comment by Rhys was rather interesting I thought , about the semiconductor valves ,a lot has happened since the transistors inception and the engineers are all so cleverly using the black boxes to make our lives better ,so maybe things are not always as they seem financially but at least Elon has broken the ice on the electric auto and perhaps space travel as well and in closing , I say , shame on both the parties that tell us how to live .

        • AugustineThomas

          Their cars are junk to real car guys. The finish is garbage. Musk will be done if the big automakers decide that electric is possible. Anyway have fun driving around for minutes until you break down looking for a charge station. Rich bloodsuckers only for Teslas!

          • Haggy

            Have fun waking up when your needle is near E, wondering if you will run out of gas or if you will be late to work. There are plenty of people whose batteries go dead. They are people like you who have to call AAA for a jump start. Have fun waiting in line for gasoline.

          • AugustineThomas

            Have fun broke down because your electric car ran out of energy after 40 miles of driving. Those things are a joke. They’re only good for bloodsuckers who don’t have to produce wealth with their lives because they bloodsuck so much. They don’t have to worry about ever driving more than 40 miles in a trip because they barely have to do anything.

            We’re the makers. You guys are the takers. President Trump is going to put you out of business just like you deserve. You should have to actually prove your worth just like the rest of us in unsubsidized industries.

            This is the reason we need to drain the swamp. No human being is smart enough to control the world. You guys pretend you have geniuses to solve every problem but you’re absolutely powerless to fix anything. You guys make things worse and steal our tax money to do it.

          • Haggy

            I’d like to see Trump keep his word and level the playing field. If he wants to get rid of massive oil industry subsidies, I’d be fine with getting rid of minuscule tax credits for EV owners. But you are the one whose costs would go way up without subsidies.

            If you don’t like EVs then you should find a more productive use of your time than reading forums about them and spreading misinformation. If you like makers better than takers, do something about the red states that pay far less in taxes than they receive in benefits while the blue states pay more in taxes than they receive in benefits. Look it up. Nobody is stealing your tax money. You are stealing mine. I probably pay more in taxes each year than you pay in a lifetime.

            A Tesla can go over 300 miles on a charge. Good luck getting up in the morning, finding your needle on empty, and having to get to work. EVs start each day with a complete charge and don’t run out of power the way an ICE does. There are people all over the place with dead batteries. It’s people like you whose 12V battery went dead and left you stranded. It’s not Tesla owners. AAA came up with a program to help stranded EV owners, but it turned out nobody needed it. They can get back to work rescuing people like you.

            Don’t talk nonsense. We know what kind of shape the US was in after Bush and what shape it’s in now.

            If you think you can get a Tesla without producing wealth, then go ahead and prove it or shut up.

          • AugustineThomas

            Why do you guys keep trying to compare oil and gas subsidies to EV subsidies as if it’s apples to apples? We subsidize oil and gas for the same reason we subsidize some farmers. We allow manufacturers and other processors of raw goods to make slaves of commodity producers like oil and gas drillers and farmers, to the point that, if left alone, NO ONE would drill oil or gas or farm. We would starve and the lights would go out. That’s not the free market. That’s the government teaming up with the manufacturers/processors to make slaves of the producers. They only start giving subsidies once they realize they’re going to destroy the whole country if they try to force drillers and farmers into indentured servitude.

            I will agree with you that we should let the free market decide rather than stacking the decks with undeserved government subsidies.

          • AugustineThomas

            And again, the reason to save those industries with subsidies, is because we rely on them for survival. Only Silicon Valley dweebs with no style rely on Musk’s companies for anything.

          • Mark Turner

            Seems like you’ve been feeding a troll….

          • Haggy

            He’s a troll if he doesn’t sincerely believe his own lies or is posting just to get a reaction. However most people who read my response have nothing to do with that and on the off chance that they aren’t familiar with why his posts are nonsense they may as well read something that would stand up to independent verification. I don’t expect to change the OP’s mind and don’t much care. It’s not as if he could afford a Tesla anyway. I’m surprised he even still supports Trump after Trump went after 400 pound guys who live in their parents’ basement.

          • James Rowland

            40 miles? Multiply that five to seven times to get the right number for a Tesla, or by two for the very worst electric cars around today.

            I’m impressed how you manage to get nearly every claim you make factually incorrect. Did you have to research how to be this wrong?

          • AugustineThomas

            I know you’re a wannabe STEM guy, but you do understand the human tradition of exaggerating for effect? The point is that EVs are still not realistic for anyone but some rich bloodsucker who can say “oh what a fun day!” when he runs out of energy outside of town and needs to call a tow truck. The rest of us are the makers who create all the tax money for people like you to bloodsuck, so we can’t break down two times a day because we worship Musk. Thank God most of the makers are still so “backward” that they worship Christ while creating the wealth that Secularist bloodsuckers spend all their time figuring out how to steal.

          • James Rowland

            You do understand that repeadedly pulling easily refuted numbers out of your arse makes you look like a complete clown?

          • AugustineThomas

            I’ve cited the figures I’ve listed. All you do is make ad hominem attacks. At least I mix real arguments in with my putdowns! 🙂

          • James Rowland

            “Citation” means you state the source, so we can check its credibility.

            Now, tell me, where did you get – for example – this $40M donation to Cuomo from? As I said, I checked the official public records and it’s not there.

          • AugustineThomas

            I told you I don’t have all day to track down every source I’ve seen. I did send you links to articles regarding Musk’s corruption. You really think the way that corruption works is that Musk writes an official check “From Elon Musk to Andrew Cuomo, $40m for corrupt tax breaks!”?
            He uses intermediaries who all make much smaller donations so people like you can say “prove it! Musk’s name isn’t on the donor list!”. The Post wrote all about it…


            “Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara has expanded his anti-corruption crusade to the far western edge of the state — investigating Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s controversial Buffalo Billion revitalization project, The Post has learned.
            The probe of Cuomo’s pet project is the first to touch his office beyond Bharara’s investigation of the governor’s shutdown of the Moreland Commission to Investigate Public Corruption last year.”
            “The report also revealed the developer of two Buffalo Billion buildings is Louis Ciminelli, who contributed $96,500 to Cuomo’s two campaigns for governor.”

          • James Rowland

            As I said, you sent me no links.

            You think there’s a conspiracy involving mass third party donors? Prove it. Then call the police, becasue that’s a crime.

          • Rhys

            You are wrong. The Volvo P1800 has gone over 2 million miles, that is a great car. It was made in the late 60s. They could make billion mile cars if they wanted to but it is not in their economic interest. Internal combustion cars are designed and built to need service to increase profitability. GM lost money on EVERY car they made to sell financing through GMAC, the dealers lost money on EVERY car so they could make money on service. Tesla doesn’t play that game. There are 6 parts in the drive train. Know why the Prius exits? It is a “electric car” that needs an oil change and rings, and bearings, and grease, and bla bla bla. You’re also full of shit about the “rich blood suckers” if some asshat drove up in a Ferrari or a F40 you’d suck up to him like he was your sugar daddy. You just hate that something you have invested all of your ego and time in is now exposed as a pile of 100 year old shit.

          • AugustineThomas

            You guys do the same thing over and over again. You exclusively look at the advantages of electric cars and ignore the disadvantages. Things may change given improvements in technology, but currently ICE are more efficient. (That is unless you have Obama or Cuomo to illegally give you taxpayer money in exchange for campaign contributions.)

            You guys are an absolute cancer. You belong in Communist China.

        • Rhys

          Cheaper than the land acquisition and permits. That’s the real deal. Do you know what compensatory mitigation is? It is far easier to permit pylons than a 40 foot high pile of rock from LA to San Francisco. Not to mention the car crossings need to be rated for a SUV doing 70 mph.

        • Bob Wallace

          Hyperloop would be incredibly expensive to see to fruition.

      • James Rowland

        You might have that right.

        Though the physics for normal operation is sound, I am sceptical a giant vacuum tube with free-moving vehicles inside can have its (spectacular) failure modes engineered away for passenger safety.

        The performance required of the compressor seems bordering on miraculous too, and Musk’s cost estimates for the whole system seem woefully unrealistic.

        I’m happy to be proven wrong though, and welcome the attempts to make it work. If it does that’ll be great, and if it doesn’t we’ll learn precisely why; those are both valuable outcomes.

        • Bob Wallace

          Could work eventually some day, though crediting vacuum tube transportation to Musk is wrong in any case. The idea was around before Musk was born, and the engineering details will be worked out by much less famous scientists and engineers.

          • Though to be fair, Musk didn’t exactly invent the idea of electric cars or reusable rockets either.

          • James Rowland

            That’s right of course, though they had both previously been dismissed as impractical.

            Where Musk is different is that he doesn’t accept such dismissals unless they track back to fundamental principles. He’s also willing to lose his shirt over them if success seems worth the risk of failure.

            I do wish he’d turn down the risk now they are going concerns, though: Falcon 9’s flawless record literally went to pieces after densified LOX became part of the architecture; meanwhile, P badge Tesla owners are getting understandably annoyed by over-promised or misleading performance metrics in the marketing of Tesla’s flagship cars, and I worry there will be more lawsuits.

          • Bob Wallace

            Exactly

          • James Rowland

            Well, previous proposals were high vacuum systems IIRC. Low vacuum plus a compressor might be original.

        • Bob Wallace

          I believe it can be made to work, but not economically and the advantages it poses over other options (high speed trains, uber has already pitched flying vehicles) are not large enough to merit all of the liability or infrastructure investment.

      • Kieran Delaney

        “[insert any current generation technology] isn’t going anywhere…”

        Said every naysayer in history. You may be right, but there is a perfectly good chance you are so wrong.

        I agree with your comments 99% of the time; this is not one of those times.

        • Rick Danger

          I think you’ll find this isn’t the same B.W.

          • Kieran Delaney

            Ahh, I see…a charlatan/imposter…

            I should have known.

        • Bob Wallace

          Let me rephrase – hyperloop technology isn’t going anywhere within the next couple of decades.

    • AugustineThomas

      Both will collapse when President Trump removes Obama subsidies. Cuomo gave Musk $840m of brain-dead NY taxpayers’ money for a $40m campaign contribution. That’s what Tesla and SpaceX and all his other subsidized failures are living from. Pure government bloodsucker.

      • Rhys

        Failure? The man got a 1st stage to land on a barge. That is the EXACT opposite of failure. Augustine Thomas; if that is your real name, do you drive on highways, have medicare, medicaid, use a computer, use the internet, take a mortgage deduction, or engage in any part of the US economy? While then you are a government bloodsucker. The things you hate your are most guilty of yourself. Also by the way, a government of the people, by the people and for the people is only incompetent when you yourself are incompetent.

        • AugustineThomas

          Give me a break. You guys are such a cancer. I’m a government bloodsucker because I use the roads the same as you because you get paid $80-100k a year for an absolutely worthless job. Ok bud! If you guys were right, Hillary would have won.

          I do not use Medicare or Medicaid and never will because I’m an American, not a pathetic Secularist bloodsucker like you! PAY FOR YOURSELF! STOP ASKING THOSE OF US WHO WORK FOR A LIVING TO DO IT! I’m a maker. You’re a taker.

          Christians built the West without any bloodsucking Secularist Leftists like you. They created modern science without any pathetic government subsidies and all of that, not bloodsuckers like Musk, led to the Internet and all the technology we have. You guys are slowing it down because you’re all snowflakes and bloodsuckers. Since Secularists have taken over the educational system, the average IQ is going down. You pretend you’re taking us to the Singularity, but you’re a bunch of worthless government bloodsuckers who never deliver on anything.

          The market could have done anything Musk did and a Hell of a lot better without bloodsucking MY TAX DOLLARS. You guys are the same people who cheered the Soviet Union and said it would be better than the US because they’re all government bloodsuckers like you. We all saw how that turned out.

          You’ve heard the one about the federal government wasting all the money on developing an airplane? That’s you guys. Spend insane amounts of money and then fail while the free market (the Wright Brothers) does it much cheaper and actually accomplishes the goal.

          And anyway you’re so full of it with your false equivalency. The government maintaining roads or the army is so much different than pure corruption. Giving Musk money to enrich himself in exchange for campaign contributions is pure corruption. They should all be in jail.

          • Zack

            To hell with the sick and invalid! Down with Medicare! Every man for himself!

            Does that accurately describe your vision?

          • AugustineThomas

            Oh right. Bleeding heart idiot really believes everyone on welfare needs it. Refuses to acknowledge the drug epidemic in this country and how many drug addicts who could easily do productive work are collecting free money.

            You are welfare cases. That’s how Obama wins–free Obama phones for all you drug addict, pervert bloodsuckers. I can’t wait for President Trump to end your welfare!

          • Zack

            The ironic thing here is that I never said that everyone on welfare needs it, nor did I dispute that there is a drug problem in the US. You however, did claim that everyone on welfare is an unamerican, secularist bloodsucker. It seems you are bound and determined to put anyone down who doesn’t jump on your bandwagon, facts be damned.

          • AugustineThomas

            Welfare should be done on a local level. It’s much more efficient that way. When we put government bloodsuckers in charge, they steal the money and the people truly in need never get it.

            I believe in charity, not Communism.

          • Rhys

            You do not believe in charity, you do not know what charity is. You are a Pharisee.

            1 Corinthians 13 King James Version (KJV)

            13 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

            2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

            3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

            4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,

            5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;

            6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;

            7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

            8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.

            9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.

            10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

            11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

            12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

            13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

          • AugustineThomas

            Your vain attempt at wielding Scripture against my very sensible claim that it’s better to have people doing charity on the local level, where they’re most connected and thus can best experience the grace that God gives to those who give and receive charity, reminds me of another verse:

            “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but underneath are ravenous wolves.”

          • Rhys

            Nope: I claim you don’t know what charity is an have none of it. You are literally a sounding brass. You claim to be prophetic. You are unkind. You vaunt yourself. You are puffed up. You are easily provoked. You rejoice in iniquity. You do not recognize the truth. You seem to be able to bear nothing. You are childish. You have no apparent ability to be self reflective. Therefore by your own hand you have shown conclusively to have no charity. Now begone Satan’s bitch: I will suffer you no more.

          • AugustineThomas

            Alright well God bless you!

          • Rhys

            Ok fuck wit, drug test congress men for their pensions.

          • AugustineThomas

            Let’s do it! I’m a maker not a taker. You’re never going to scare me with the idea of calling the bloodsuckers to task!

          • Hill

            Have you ever done any research on how much subsidies are given to the mature oil and coal industries? What Tesla gets is a fraction of what big oil has received. You obviously have a lot invested with old energy and don’t want to see anyone mess with your investments. Ha! If I were you, I would sell now before you see it all disappear.

          • AugustineThomas

            The oil and coal industries power EVERYTHING. The reason you can go to the hospital is because of oil and coal.

            Teslas only power a few rich, worthless scumbags around Silicon Valley. They’re an absolute joke compared to real automakers, who will destroy them if the electric car industry ever becomes worthwhile. (They’re already making better EVs than Tesla. They just don’t make many because at least some of them are real businessmen, not government bloodsuckers like Musk.)

          • Hill

            Oh god… You obviously don’t like Musk and blind to change. Stay in your hole. You’ll be safe there.

          • AugustineThomas

            Right. Anyone who doesn’t like hucksters collecting taxpayer money is “blind to change”. I can’t wait until Trump ends this criminal who steals taxpayer money for his garbage businesses.

          • Hill

            Time will tell, won’t it?

          • AugustineThomas

            I agree and sorry if I became too much of a reactionary. I actually LOVE EVs because they have so few moving parts. (My family has actually been racing ICE powered cars my entire life, so it was hard for me to admit that electric engines are superior, but it’s pretty impossible to deny.) I just want the transition to happen naturally and for us to make sure that the greater efficiency of electric engines isn’t outweighed by any potential extra costs in the infrastructure. A lot of really smart people also still believe in hydrogen cells.

          • Rhys

            I am a farmer you fucking idiot. I work my ass for little pay, horrible hours, physical injury, and having to put up with my dad and my brother. Here’s an some advice. Shut the fuck up about things you know nothing about. Do you know where your taxes go?

            21% military.
            29% Health care (I am SURE you are on medicare or medicade)
            26% Pensions ( I am sure you are on Social Security.)
            6% Interest ( thanks so Reagan, Bush, & Bush.)

            I cheered the Soviet Union? What in the actual fuck are you talking about?

            Free market? What? Where? I have never seen a free market in my life. Who do you pay every month? Cable, cell, power, gas, sewer, water, insurance, mortgage, taxes, and what??? WHAT free markets do you actually participate in ? None you don’t even understand the words that you use.

            The federal government DOES waste all its money developing airplanes you stupid sub human garbage. The B2 cost 44 billion dollars, 737 million per plane in 1997 dollars, 170,000 per hour to fly and for what? To bomb Iraq? Funny the B52 was also bombing Iraq so WHAT THE FUCK DID WE NEED THE B2 for? Oh yeah because Dick Cheney said we didn’t need it when he was in charge of the DoD as a civilian then was a fluffer for it as the VP.

            So that’s one plane that has LITERALLY no real job that costs twice as much as all of NASA. You want bloodsucking tax vampires meet the military industrial complex.

          • AugustineThomas

            Are you on drugs? You seem completely unhinged. I hope you’ll get some help!

            Only an idiot would refuse to recognize that a huge portion of our taxpayer money is wasted on government bloodsuckers who spend it all buying perishable goods in order to flaunt their ill-gotten wealth.
            Whatever you do, if you’re actually a maker and not a taker, you would be better off if there were less government bloodsuckers living off of your wealth and providing zero benefits in return–if anything they use that money to make the country even worse because they want to protect their undeserved government pensions.

        • AugustineThomas

          And yes failure. Every other launch is a failure for Musk. He spends so much more money than any other company and then fails. But don’t worry, Obama and Cuomo have his back! That’s the only reason that bloodsucker is still in business.

          He’ll be gone after President Trump drains the swamp! 🙂

          • James Rowland

            So, of the 29 Falcon 9 missions to date, two have exploded. Two over twenty nine is not “every other”.

            Most elementary school children would have outperformed you at arithmetic here.

          • AugustineThomas

            I’m sorry you’re hurt fanboi. I know Musk is your God, but cultists hurt this country. The free market should be handling this. Obama should not be picking “winners” who are losers like Musk.

          • James Rowland

            You have repeadedly shown that you don’t know a damn thing about me.

          • AugustineThomas

            I’m sorry for being rude. That’s a bad habit of mine. God bless you!

    • Rhys

      The alt-right anti-intellectual shill squad is doing hits on Musk. Being knuckle dragging flat earthers they need a “safe space” to be stupid and ignorant it.

    • I’m waiting to hear the details of his plan to hear what exactly he’ll do different because it’s not exactly a novel idea. Many cities around the world already have various travel options at different levels including in tunnels. All of them also still have traffic congestion on the surface because as has been seen innumerable times, increasing capacity increases usage until equilibrium (i.e. congestion) is reached again.

  • Quincy Rawr

    Everyone says he is a genius but I’ve yet to see him demonstrate it… all I see is someone with enough wealthy to do whatever he wants.

    Being smart and being rich are two different things entirely. I have no shortage of ideas to push this world towards a utopian cycle of sustainable advancement… But does anyone care? No, because it’s not about intelligence… We live in a society where idiocy is placed on a pedestal to be worshiped and money has supreme voting power.

    Putting rich people on mars so they can fart around safe from the disasters they create on earth isn’t genius and it will only exacerbate the problems they’ve been steadily creating for the rest of us. Boring holes so middle class people don’t have to sit in traffic is also not a genius idea… It’s a patchwork set of ideas to keep a bad system band aided long enough to continue using, which only delays the creation of a better system.

    The people who are working on designing cheap multilayered, self-sustaining and automatic harvesting greenhouses are geniuses. The people working on developing low cost public transportation that is both timely and comfortable, that can shuttle millions of people at a time without strain, they are geniuses… The people working to undermine authority and borders to bring communities together under the idea of peace… Well, they are probably fools, but heroic fools certainly.

    What is musk worth? What is he really doing to address the big problems? He’s just playing the market to make some money like the rest of them… I don’t see any soldiers laying down their arms or people saving children in his name, so he’s clearly no ghandi.

    • Steve Hanley

      “We live in a society where idiocy is placed on a pedestal to be worshiped and money has supreme voting power.”

      I concur with your assessment.

      • mollycruz

        Yeah, snuggle down; Earth is all there is. When we intercept that first comet, the one with our names on it; you’ll have that “Aha! ” moment about why we’re really here, and who, or rather WHAT is the only enemy we ever really had. The minds that will have accomplished this miraculous feat are rare indeed, nobody expects people like you to understand them. Have faith, you can’t do it, but it’s being done.

      • AugustineThomas

        Me too. That’s how we got Obama the failure.

        • Rhys

          Obama failures: list them.
          Bush Failures: 9/11, Katrina, Iraq, Afghanistan (the longest war in US history), the creation of the largest bureaucracy since WWII, massive deficit spending, massive debt, the overturning of the 4th amendment out of fear, Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, TARP, and the housing collapse. Literally the WORST president since the Civil War and you have the ignorant gall to call Obama a failure? Prove it you ignorant shit. Give me one example of anything that is his fault that come close to any of those things.

          • AugustineThomas

            Obama failures: Obamacare, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, drone-strikes without trials or any kind of meaningful deliberation, $19t deficit, black people poorer and more miserable than ever, fake jobs numbers mask the highest unemployment in history, divided nation/BLM/Dylan Roof, etc. I could go on all night.

          • Rhys

            None of them come close to letting 9/11 happen on their watch. None of those thing come close to over turning the 4th amendment. None of those come close to the longest war in US history. Also every one of those claims you make is either a direct result of Bush and the GOP or the Legislative branches complete inaction in the face of economic collapse.

          • AugustineThomas

            In Bush’s defense, 9/11 was a surprise attack. Obama only ignored the obvious trend because he was living out his Secularist Multiculturalist fantasy.
            Obama added $19T to the national debt and has nothing to show for it except having enriched his favorite sycophants beyond their wildest dreams. How can you defend the man?

    • mollycruz

      Jealous? Sounds like it. This planet is not forever. Some are capable of dealing with it. We call them geniuses, and they are very rare. This is why we overpopulate, because most of us are duds, built for Earth. Some are built for more. You don’t have to jump down their throats just because you can’t understand or join them. There’s plenty of Earth stuff to attend to. Go dig.

      • Bob Wallace

        Bat poop crazy

    • Haggy

      He has demonstrated it many times over. If you had bought a Model S and hated it, maybe you’d be in a position to say something about it. But people don’t spend six figures on cars without complaining loudly when they don’t meet expectations.

    • James Rowland

      I do largely agree with your perspective, but your scepticism about Musk’s motives seems mistargeted: He has repeatedly demonstrated through his actions that money isn’t his main motivation and he’s sincere about his intentions.

      Fifteen years ago, a rocket company and an electric car company would’ve seemed like an excellent way to lose all his money, and by many accounts he expected to. He still could, if he continues to push them into greater risks in the pursuit of progress.

      The goals of these companies could scarcely be more relevant to our long-term survival and flourishing: Energy infrastructure that is sustainable, and thus does not have total economic ruin as its punchline; and a general answer to this and most other existential risks on Earth. Longer-term, there’s also the re-opening of territorial expansion and exploration, and the opportunities that are likely to come from it.

      The colonisation of Mars is not an abdication of our care of Earth either; it will be dependent on supply ships for many decades – if not centuries – so the mission requires our home planet be stable and prosperous. Failure to do this will mean death for those (rich?) colonists you suspect will be farting around.

      The scale makes them harder to appreciate, but Musk’s goals are motivated by a genuine desire for a better future. Whether they will come to pass is another question, but there is nothing fundamentally impossible in his vision.

      He isn’t playing the same crooked executive plundering game that has become so rewarding for conscienceless assholes either; this is genuine entrepreneurship, and he has all his own skin riding on the outcome.

      It seems clear to me that wealth is just a means to an end for Musk, and the (perhaps naive) end he wants is a better future for everyone. However, it does seem that he always underestimates how difficult, time consuming and expensive it will be to reach each goal.

      Perhaps that’s why he tries where others didn’t?

      • AugustineThomas

        Right. He hates hanging out with Amber Heard as ugly as he is. That’s NOT why he does this!!! Hahaha. I have a bridge in Brooklyn for you…

        • James Rowland

          Is that supposed to be a rebuttal?

          • AugustineThomas

            I’m still waiting for you to make an argument rather than just act like another emotional Musk fanboi. You guys are a cult.

          • James Rowland

            Your wait would be shorter if you actually read them.

          • AugustineThomas

            Yet you can’t name a single one. The only “argument” you made is: “WHAT?! You don’t worship Musk like me? You must die!” That’s all emotion there fanboi.

          • James Rowland

            Please, take your foot out of my mouth. It doesn’t belong there.

      • AugustineThomas

        And he WILL lose his stolen money when President Trump removes his illegal government subsidies!

        • James Rowland

          Their accounts show that Tesla isn’t dependent on government money and is not getting any special favours – and specifically what subsidies are you talking about anyway?

          If you heard the government threw $4B at Musk, you were lied to. The truth of the matter is all on public record, and it’s not hard to find.

          Tesla’s money is overwhelmingly from private equity.

          • AugustineThomas

            Andrew Cuomo alone gave Musk an $840m subsidy from NY State taxpayers and in return Musk gave him a $40m campaign contribution. It’s almost like they were stupid enough to say “after the campaign contribution is returned, it will be a 5% bribe or $40m of the $800m subsidy”.

            The guy is all government money and free solar panel money. They absolutely rob the taxpayer for you idiots to pretend like you’re geniuses saving the world despite never achieving meaningful results for the billions you waste. No wonder you guys are trying to turn into a trillion dollar scam for your climate bullshit.

          • James Rowland

            Where do you get this nonsense from?

            Campaign donations are also on public record. The only entity related to Musk that donated to Andrew Cuomo’s fund was Solar City, who gave him a whole $1500. That’s fifteen hundred, not forty million; about twenty seven thousand times less than you claimed.

            In any case, nobody can give Cuomo $40M in campaign funds, because that would breach campaign financing laws. If you knew the first thing about it, you’d have realised that number was nonsense.

            There is no $840M subsidy from NY state to any of Musk’s companies, either. Buffalo is constructing a manufacturing facility and surrounding infrastructure at Riverbend, and will own all of it.

            Solar City paid $150M themselves, and the money goes to building contractors working in the state. The end result is a building Tesla will lease and fill with production equipment.

          • AugustineThomas

            What I said was true, but I don’t have time to do my research for you. The links I provided should prove that Musk is only good at government corruption. Musk should be in jail with Hillary.

          • James Rowland

            Really?

            Well, I did do “your” research for you, and it’s presented above. What you wrote is not true.

            Like I said, public records. Every cent that goes to political campaign funds has to be registered. The fourty million you claim was paid doesn’t exist.

          • AugustineThomas

            I sent you links to documented proof of Musk’s corruption. You stuck your head in the sand. That’s hardly “presenting research”.

          • James Rowland

            Nope. You sent me no links.

          • AugustineThomas

            There’s not much I can do with you if you’re going to lie. God bless you!

          • James Rowland

            No links here. No lies either, except from you.

            If you haven’t realised yet, Disqus has anti-spamming protection measures that sometimes include flagging posts with links as requiring moderator approval.

            Maybe you should check your posts are not affected before (falsely) accusing someone of lying?

          • AugustineThomas

            I already sent the links. I’m not doing your research for you twice Pajama Boy.

          • James Rowland

            What do you not understand about “no links here”?

          • AugustineThomas

            Wow what a powerful argument! “I refuse to Google and my Commie moderator buddies will delete your links so Elon Musk must not be corrupt!”

            Typical Secularist Leftist (TSL). People like you are the reason our country is so dumb and in debt. You’ll give any Silicon Valley huckster a billion of our tax money, no matter how stupid his ideas. And you’ll refuse to Google him!

            THANK GOD HILLARY LOST!

          • James Rowland

            You’re the one making a claim. Your burden. Meet it or be (rightfully) dismissed.

          • AugustineThomas

            You’re so pathetic. You’re now pretending the website rules prevent you from searching the Internet and verifying what I’m saying at trusted publications.


            “Federal prosecutors want SolarCity’s records regarding Cuomo’s so-called Buffalo Billion plan, which has New York taxpayers paying $750 million to finance a one million-square-foot “gigafactory” for SolarCity near the city of Buffalo.
            Once complete, SolarCity will rent out the gigafactory for $2 a year for the first ten years on the condition the company hit “full production levels six months after construction ends, employ 1,460 in Buffalo and 500 at the plant for five years,” according to Newsday.”

          • James Rowland

            Yes, that’s right. Tesla – formerly Solar City – have obligations to provide employment at the city’s plant. I did mention this before; that’s what the investment is for.

            Tesla also buy a whole bunch of equipment in state – several billion worth in total.

            So, what is your point?

          • AugustineThomas

            They lose the money we give them and usually waste it on incompetent Silicon Valley tech dweebs who promise the world and rarely to never deliver. In the free market, we support profitable businesses that put people to work. We’re not Communists who give billions to failing businesses to pretend that Dear Leader Obama is lowering the tides!

          • James Rowland

            You’ve never read the accounts of these companies, have you?

            Oh right, over 200 words. Of course not.

          • AugustineThomas

            I’m happy to read more than 200 words from experts, just not Internet fanbois like you. You guys have a habit of following the herd off the cliff over and over again.

          • James Rowland

            Experts? Who do you think prepares and certifies the accounts for publicly listed companies? The janitor?

          • AugustineThomas

            Corporate sycophants. The same guys who ran Enron and Arthur Anderson and ruined whistle blowers who called out Madoff.

          • James Rowland

            So, now you’re accusing accounting fraud? Prove it.

            Or, if you can’t prove it, save your scorn for the corporations that practiced it and were caught.

          • AugustineThomas

            Yea it just happens all the time that “entrepreneurs” get caught up in several corruption scandals. It’s just a huge coincidence! The same “vast right wing conspiracy” that took Hillary down! 🙂

            Sorry you’re hurt because you’re such a fanboi of your corrupt hero and his worthless pipe dreams.

          • James Rowland

            Well, let’s see how long you can dismiss the “worthless pipe dreams” of energy independence and affordable access to space, shall we?

            Incidentally, what definition of “fanboi” are you using that’s compatible with my repeatedly and publicly ripping into Elon when he actually gets things wrong?

          • AugustineThomas

            I think it would be better to fix our problems here before taking them to space. Furthermore, there is no evidence whatsoever that Musk’s companies have gotten us any closer to “energy independence and affordable access to space”. Again, the free market would have done better without him if Americans were allowed to keep the money rather than having Obama and his friends like Cuomo steal it from the taxpayers and deliver it to a failure like Musk.

          • James Rowland

            No evidence apart from market-leading reductions in battery costs and the first demonstration of rocket booster recovery.

            Right, and I’m the one with my head in the sand. Carry on, nothing’s happening here.

          • AugustineThomas

            He crashes every other rocket and people were already developing reusable rockets. He simply took a bunch of Obama money and hired away the people who already thought of the ideas. Give me $10b of taxpayer money and I’ll perform even better tricks for you!
            You’re talking about SolarCity? The failing company that he built with stolen taxpayer money and is now bailing out with Tesla’s stolen taxpayer money? Some kind of guy!
            I bet if we gave him $20b, he could save Solyndra! 🙂

            Ok, now stick your head back in the sand and keep repeating: “Musk will save the world! Musk will save the world! …”

          • James Rowland

            Every other? We have been over this before: dividing two by twenty nine and getting a half only demonstrates that you would fail elementary school arithmetic.

          • AugustineThomas

            By the way, are you really such a boy scout? The major accounting firms constantly fudge the numbers for their richest customers.

          • AugustineThomas

            And why don’t you ever cite anything? You hypocritical little shmuck. Name one thing these companies have ever done. SpaceX did something cool, which should have cost a few hundred million at most, and spent BILLIONS. The free market would have done much better and is. Even without the subsidies, there are other companies competing with Musk’s subsidized Obama-companies.

          • James Rowland

            Actualy, I did cite many things. For example, I cited the same corruption probe you did, and pointed out how it had nothing to do with Solar City or Elon Musk, contrary to what you claimed.

          • AugustineThomas

            So Elon Musk renting a $750m factory for $2 a year doesn’t bother you when there were others who would pay? It doesn’t bother you how much money he gave Cuomo? You think it’s just a big coincidence?

            There are plenty of other examples of Musk receiving government money for his pipe dreams that never deliver.

          • James Rowland

            He didn’t give Cuomo $40M.

            Keep up, I debunked this already.

          • AugustineThomas

            Perhaps it wasn’t that exact amount–it was probably more, but I read a report where if you tally the donations of all the intermediaries, like Cimminelli, it was that much.

            Your hero is corrupt.

    • Gnällgubben

      Since Mars has no atmosphere to protect you against harmful radiation building a long term colony on Mars is plain suicide unless you plan to live deep underground for the rest of your life. So this Mars plan is a no-go from start. There might be scientific reasons to build a research colony on Mars but the idea of populating Mars is just stupid.

      • James Rowland

        Well, thus far SpaceX has only promised a means of getting payloads there at lower costs. Exactly what could be sent and where in order to survive might have to be worked out by others.

        Radiation would be a hazard to people working in the open, but surface habitats could be shielded with built-up soil. A metre or two would be plenty.

        There are also cave systems that may be suitable for settlement.

  • Musk is a con man, IMO. If you want to drive real cars, don’t buy self driving cars. If you want to keep cash around, use it, or the banks will take it and force you to put all your money in the bank with no other choice but to spend it. If the bank goes bust you are out of luck. Wake up. These technological advances are potentially totalitarian in their nature.

    • Steve Hanley

      There is no question that digital technology has the power both to liberate and enslave. It is a tool and like all tools can be used for good or evil.

      I often quote a phrase from Marshall McLuhan: We shape our tools and thereafter our tools shape us.” Neuro-scientists can track the changes in the brain that occur when people transition from reading books that involve deep cognitive skills to focusing on digital media, which often just skims along the surface of critical thought.

      Thanks for your comment.

    • mollycruz

      Go hide somewhere, inform yourself, or shut up.

    • Haggy

      Tesla makes cars that are primarily designed to be driven. They are designed for performance and handling, and acceleration at rates that won’t happen in self driving mode. People don’t like being stuck in traffic, and having a car that takes over is far more relaxing. The same is true for eight hour road trips on long straight highways at constant speeds. There are times when people want to drive and times when they don’t. Musk has no interest in ever making a car without a steering wheel, brake pedal and accelerator.

      A con man takes people’s money in exchange for something they didn’t expect, or without giving them what they expect. Tesla has the highest satisfaction rate of any car on the market, and that includes satisfaction for sales and service. People are getting more than they expect and that’s the opposite of being conned.

      There are those who refuse to look at what fact checkers have to say and would rather spread lies through the comments sections of news articles. Instead of name calling, you might try looking at objective fact.

      Wake up yourself. Cash is phony. Money used to be backed by something. It isn’t the case any longer. We go by direct deposit and credit cards and money has turned into numbers on pieces of paper such as bank statements with balances shifting from one to another. That has moved to numbers showing up on computer screens as paper statements have gone away. But if you think paper money is somehow better, you are delusional. Do you really think your house is worth no more than a briefcase full of paper just because the government told you so and everybody goes along with it? What if everybody wakes up one day and realizes that it’s just paper? If you take it to somebody who has never seen it before, do you think he will give you a chicken for it? Of course not. You’ve been conned.

      • AugustineThomas

        Theyre designed for rich tech idiots who don’t have enough style to buy a better car. This is a cult, Silicon Valley Cult.

        • Haggy

          Wow. If only I had realized I could win an argument by calling people names, I would have written a program to answer you with the word “idiot” 100 times.

          • AugustineThomas

            Oh come on. These guys are idiots. They spend 100k on a 50k car.

          • AugustineThomas

            And Musk still needs our taxpayer money to avoid bankruptcy!

          • Haggy

            What taxpayer money is that? I know people who buy gasoline rely on oil industry subsidies, and buy cars from companies that have had huge bailouts, but companies like Tesla don’t get any tax subsidies.

          • AugustineThomas

            Oil and gas power the whole nation. The reason you can go to a hospital and be saved from death is oil and gas. Teslas power a few worthless Silicon Valley queerboys.

      • That is insane. We already have cruise control.

        • Haggy

          Standard cruise control is the opposite of what you need in traffic. It can’t be used. Standard cruise control is designed to maintain a fixed speed. Drivers need a car that varies speed with road conditions and traffic, that can stop a car, restart it, and steer it properly within a lane. That’s what Tesla does, and far more.

    • Gnällgubben

      What good is money if you don’t spend it? Do you use it for insulation?

  • Matthew Rosario

    “Typically, a private car is used about 5% of the day. Putting the same car to use 24 hours a day would remove 95% of the cars from city streets.”

    With all due respect that 5% is during rush hour. Uber and public transportation – concepts that in theory take those private cars off the road – have not offset traffic. A shared self driving car is no different than Uber, and is a concept and behavior many Americans reject.

    • Steve Hanley

      I don’t necessarily disagree with you. I am repeating the mantra that every car company on earth is now adhering to which is that ride hailing and ride sharing will be the next gee whiz thing. Even Elon Musk is telling Tesla owners they will be able to partially pay for the cars out of the income they earn from sharing them with others.

      Myself, I am not at all sure I want members of the Great Unwashed riding around with me in my P100D with Ludicrous Mode.

      • Bob Wallace

        If ridesharing supplants actual vehicle ownership then it certainly would suggest that the fuel cell vehicle, and not the battery vehicle, would dominate the future auto market. Fuel cell vehicle with longer range and much faster recharge time would be able to generate revenue for several more hours on a given day than a purely battery powered vehicle due to the facts that it can travel farther on a charge and recharge multiple times faster.

        • Rhys

          You can physically change a Tesla battery in less time than filling a gas tank, (with the jig.)

          • Bob Wallace

            Extra cost for duplicate batteries – most expensive part in a vehicle. Not economically practical.

    • Haggy

      It would do something about parking problems. Most freeway traffic problems are due to selfishness, not congestion. Unless a road merges into something narrow, heavy traffic is caused by people blocking traffic. If you take a crowded freeway where people are moving 15 mph and ask what would happen if 2/3 of the cars were taken off the road, and you’d be behind the car that’s three cars in front of you with a sizable gap, you’d realize the same traffic could move at 65 mph without a problem. That means it would be on the road only 20% as long. That would leave plenty of time for the other 2/3 as long as they observe the recommended three second following distance and allow people to merge, change lanes, etc. We wouldn’t have to do it in shifts. Cars would simply have to get on the road in a more rational manner and merge in a way that doesn’t slow traffic. A computer model can prove it easily. The net result would be that people would take seconds longer to enter a freeway but could make the trip five times as fast.

      If you then consider the notion of self driving cars that can communicate with each other and allow other cars to move without impacting traffic, traffic problems can be reduced substantially. Instead of cars stopping immediately behind others at times when it would block others from changing lanes, they won’t get stuck in traffic in the first place because the incidents that would have caused it wouldn’t have happened.

  • mollycruz

    There’s an elevated train built decades ago in Spain that transcends anything I’ve seen for clever travel. Tracks are ‘strung’ between single posts, “Y” shaped on top, that hold the train cars at mid point, so they can never derail, costs a tenth of what normal tracks would cost, traverse any terrain, go at high speeds, don’t interrupt animal patterns, and for some reason I’m the only one who knows about it.

    • Steve Hanley

      Now there are two of us! Thanks for sharing. : – )

      • mollycruz

        I read about it over twenty years ago in the now defunct “GEO” magazine. I think it’s in Barcelona, maybe. I can’t believe it hasn’t caught on, esp here in Ca. where terrain defies engineering. I wrote Brown about it, fancy him ever reading it. He wants a high speed thing, but on regular tracks, costly.

  • thefonz2016

    yea..that’s the ticket! oh but they beat him to the punch decades ago…they are called SUBWAYS!! The first earmark for musk will be funds to explore digging subways for payment on trumps board of advisors to tell him how to get him out of the mess he put himself in.

  • Bob Wallace

    If Elon Musk is a genius then I’m
    the damned queen of England. He’s an entrepreneur who not so infrequently speaks scientifically uninformed gibberish. The hyper loop was not a musk original, nor was the idea of privatizing rockets, or commercially viable battery cars. Elon contributed little to nothing in scientific or engineering terms to these pursuits, he contributed rather as a a capital investor and business man.

    I do give him credit for his business achievements, but he idea that he is actually some science savant and is responsible for the science and engineering behind the technological achievements of Tesla or Space X is completely false. He’s no genius.

  • RNDoerAnts

    Good points, and seemingly odd but you are missing the point of it all: you can’t live on the surface of Mars and need to build tunnels for a colony to survive. Why not practice here? Your obvious pitfalls of tunneling are just that, obvious, but will not stop him and his team when all the tech and all the expertise is already available. Gee, I wonder what’s next, mass indoor farming infrastructures? Try connecting the dots and following the bread crumbs?

    • mollycruz

      Termites in Central America build tunnels around themselves, with mud; which results in brown veins branching around on cement surfaces. You don’t have to dig for tunnels. Much easier to create them above ground.

      • RNDoerAnts

        Agreed, at least for Earth. Looking to nature for tech is good strategy, thanks for sharing

    • thefonz2016

      but you dont need to build tunnels under major highways to practice tunneling for mars….aside from that humans have been tunneling for years from the english channel to cartel escape plans.

      • RNDoerAnts

        History is another great place to look, but the point here is finding something everyone hates ie traffic and directing attention here while solving an issue for an “unrelated” goal is the best way of explaining potential motivations and making sense of it.

      • Knut Erik Ballestad

        Maybe not, but to test drive this technology on earth, you need a business case to support the development of this kind of tech, and the only real business case would be to reduce congestion in heavily populated areas.

    • Knut Erik Ballestad

      I was going to write just this – amazing that noone else connected the dots you connected.

      On Mars you need cover from radiation, so living quarters needs to be under ground – hence you need to dig a lot of tunnels 🙂

      Hyperloop would also be the easiest transportation system to implement on Mars – you wouldn’t even have to build the vacuum tubes…..

      ….hm, any more dots to be connected here…. 🙂 ?

  • Ron

    The math on your solution to traffic doesn’t work. Reduce car ownership by 95% and then have cars shared among people driving 20x as often = same number of vehicle hours and same traffic.

    You have a better argument if you focus on the more efficient use of lanes and decreased parking. But even this is problematic, because self driving cars will allow multitasking, which will drive consumption (vehicle hours, traffic) up.

  • trackdaze

    He need only to reduce the cost and time to build by 50% to have made a breakthrough.

  • Mario Lanza

    I think the author should have considered that any tunnel projects have massive amount of studies done before any commitment to get started. I don’t think Elon Musk’s “Boring Co.” would just whip out the machine and dig. What makes the author think he wouldn’t consider planning with a bunch of others?
    Build a boring machine, use or sell it. What’s wrong with that?

    I recall seeing a picture of a boring machine working in the London underground project, and London has the oldest subway system in the world built over (basically) marshland and many rivers. It even has tide problems for which they built a dam downstream.
    But it’s a city of 9 million people, and the subway needs upgrading.

    So there are companies who do this type of work already, obviously. So, what is the problem?

  • AugustineThomas

    He’s only a genius at getting government money. Good luck getting Americans to share their cars with 19 other people. We need to build better roads. Your green fantasies are killing us. And it’s so disgusting how we only hear what “Silicon Valley titans” want, never what actual native Californians want! We live in the Guilded Ages… the Superyacht Ages maybe.

  • kevin mccune

    More tunnels would be a godsend in some areas ,but not others ,one example I can think of is the ” Chesapeake bay bridge tunnel” and there are a lot of mtns that tunnels would surely help ,but they are an expensive beast to construct as someone said the best way to reduce traffic , is to have less cars .Its been proven time and again ,more roads equal more traffic .

  • someguy47

    It was a joke you idiots.

  • Here in Seattle, we are tunneling to replace our failing and very noisy viaduct. I see tunneling as another solution to move traffic more effectively without negatively affecting surface traffic. Tunneling adds a new layer to our roads. This is something aircraft have benefited for many years.

  • James Wonneberg

    “The way to combat traffic is not to build tunnels, it is to reduce the amount of traffic. That is precisely what the brave new worlds of autonomous driving and ride sharing are expected to do. Typically, a private car is used about 5% of the day. Putting the same car to use 24 hours a day would remove 95% of the cars from city streets. That’s how you reduce congestion. Even if a self driving car is only utilized 50% of the time, that still eliminates the need for 9 out of every 10 cars in cities.”

    ^ wouldn’t this mostly just eliminate *parked* cars? Seems other changes would be needed to reduce traffic. Am I missing something?

    • Steve Hanley

      Good question, James. Yes, it would eliminate a lot of parked cars but would also eliminate a lot of the cars fighting their way into the cities to get to those parking spaces.

      The theory is that each car will have 2 to 10 passengers instead of just one. It really is no different than car pooling but managed by technology. Do you know anyone who car pools? I sure don’t. There is stigma attached to car pools and I do not foresee the gee whiz factor of having computers do the driving is going to alter that negative perception. Perhaps I am just a Luddite.

  • Matjaž Ciglar

    Shallow layer of ground is indeed criss crossed with numerous uncharted lines, but further down things are much more clear. For large city is not a big deal to have tunnel 100 or 300m below the ground. So plenty of volume to be used.

    Elon has talent to succeed where others failed. It is true, he didn’t invent anything new, he just used existing ideas (IMHO). However he made this ideas work through vertical integration and production perfectionism. Or how to produce more with less.

    There is demand for clean vehicles – Tesla
    There is demand for affordable access to space – Space X
    There is demand for clean and fast long distance travel – Hyperloop
    What will autonomous cars bring? Nearly free door to door taxi. Existing infrastructure wont be able to take a load. So conclusion – more lanes/roads/hyperloops, unfortunately no space available, therefore go underground.
    Start boring Elon!

  • Jim Seko

    I’m originally from Los Angeles. Traffic in Los Angeles is the second worst in the nation. It’s a major clusterf##k that occurs 24/7. Elon Musk is having a nervous breakdown.

  • TrueNorth00

    I like Elon. And I love Tesla.

    But this is bordering on unhinged.

  • Joe Viocoe

    Nothing tweeted by Musk suggests he’s actually going to try this. He is probably trolling us all again.

    • James Rowland

      This might be one of those things he’d like to do but will never get around to, like the supersonic VTOL electric jet. At least it has more near-term plausibility than the neural lace.

      There are, however, already companies specialising in tunnel boring, and I see no indication Musk has any kind of disruptive insight that could allow him to supplant them.

      I too expect a whole lot of nothing from this for at least 5-10 years.

  • Fredrik_Gustavsson

    Your reasoning is hilarius. Autonomous driving, by increasing the utilization rate would decrease the need for parking, but would in no way lead to less traffic. Not for that reason. If autonomous cars decrease congestion it’s because they could go closer together, not because fewer cars are used more XD

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