After witnessing Elon Musk burning down a doobie in a recent podcast show, many people had an “ahh, I get it now” moment as they suddenly realized how some of the billionaire entrepreneur’s slightly wackier proposals may have come to be.
A couple of days after Musk’s brief encounter with the green goddess, a video (below) appeared on the Boring Company‘s Twitter feed showing one of its digging machines apparently being operated by an Xbox controller. The tweet includes the caption, “Best video game ever,” though avid gamers may have a word or two to say about that.
We have no idea if it was Musk himself at the controls — there were certainly no thick puffs of smoke wafting in front of the camera as the demonstration proceeded. But seeing as he’s the CEO of the company, and knowing Musk’s penchant for outlandish projects, it’s definitely possible that the idea of connecting an Xbox controller to a giant digging machine could have come from the very same lips that recently wrapped themselves around a spliff during Joe Rogan’s podcast.
Best video game ever pic.twitter.com/DlGFsji76l
— The Boring Company (@boringcompany) September 8, 2018
It’s not clear if the setup is an experiment to test the viability of a novel digging method, or a publicity stunt to help spread the word of the Boring Company’s mission. A stunt like the Boring Company caps, or the Not-a-Flamethrower, or Musk’s idea that rock excavated by the Boring Company’s machines could be used to build life-size replicas of ancient Egyptian monuments. Is the demonstration even real? You be the judge.
The Boring Company plan
For the uninitiated, the Boring Company is, like Tesla and SpaceX, another of Musk’s grand pursuits. This particular one has the ambition to build a vast network of tunnels beneath car-clogged cities in an effort to ease traffic congestion. The idea is to use powerful digging machines that can drill at speeds much faster than conventional boring machines, which should dramatically cut the cost of such projects.
Vehicles would be carried through the tunnels on track-based electric sleds at speeds of up to 150 mph. An elevator-type system would lower a vehicle, and the people inside, from the street onto the sled, while cyclists and pedestrians would use other, specially designed pods. Once moving, the sleds would transfer from side tunnels to the main tunnel, ensuring that all the sleds on the main artery are constantly moving, thereby ensuring maximum efficiency. “This is a big difference compared to subways that stop at every stop, whether you’re getting off or not,” Musk said.
The company has already created a test tunnel beneath SpaceX’s headquarters in Hawthorne, California, and has plans for tunneling projects in Chicago and on the East Coast. Its latest proposal suggests a short route between Los Angeles’ Dodger Stadium and other transportation links, a project that, if greenlit, could be a useful test bed for its grander vision of a large network of tunnels.
Musk first mentioned his futuristic boring plan two years ago when he was stuck in his car on a gridlocked freeway. “Traffic is driving me nuts,” he tweeted in December 2016. “Am going to build a tunnel boring machine and just start digging …” There was no mention of any Xbox controllers, though.