Elon Musk's New Video For His Dumb Tunnel Project Is Awesome

Up front, I’m not a proponent of Elon Musk’s idea that extra super-fast tunnels will solve insane traffic congestion. In a nutshell, it won’t actually reduce traffic—and if you want a detailed explanation as to why, Wired has a good explainer here. But this new video of the tunnel project released on Friday by Musk is fun.

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“[Warning, this may cause motion sickness or seizures],” Musk wrote in the caption of the video on Instagram. “This is a test run of our electric sled that would transport cars at 125 mph (200 km/h) through the tunnels, automatically switching from one tunnel to the next.”

Traffic sucks, especially LA-level traffic, but the phenomenon of “induced demand”—that is, if you build more road capacity, it’ll eventually become full once again—would make Musk’s idea futile. Musk told Wired induced demand becomes irrelevant because he’s thinking of building tunnels “going 10, 20, 30 layers deep (or more).” I have an easier suggestion: If you’re going to build tunnels, why not plop a subway down there that can handle moving more people at once? Hm.

Anyway, at least this video is cool. Check it out.

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Ryan Felton

Senior Reporter, Jalopnik/Special Projects Desk

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