Tech Corner: Could The Staten Island Expressway, Belt Parkway, and BQE Benefit from Elon Musk's Boring Tunnel?

May 19th. 2017

There are not many souls on Staten Island who will admit they love traffic. The overwhelming agreeance that it is awful is almost a landslide. With Memorial Day marking the start of beach season for the summer, it also marks the beginning of “Shore Traffic”. While many of us cannot come up with a solution for this aggravation, we can trust the billionaire CEO of Tesla, SpaceX, and SolarCity, Elon Musk, to innovate a plan out of traffic!

In mid-December of 2016, Elon Musk posted a series of tweets, complaining about the traffic in LA and how it was driving him nuts. Through those tweets, he came up with his next project…

From his ranting tweets, Musk created “The Boring Company”, an infrastructure and tunneling company. Not many of us could say we started a company after complaining on Twitter.

This is not the first time Musk is taking on traffic-beating innovations. In 2013, he developed the idea of high-speed travel in a pneumatic tube, calling it the Hyperloop system. The design created showed a suggestive time frame of 35 minutes to travel between LA and San Francisco. However, this idea is being worked on by companies such as Hyperloop One, TransPod, and Hyperloop Transportation technologies, to make this high-speed transportation a reality.

During a TED talk, Musk unveiled an animated glimpse of what the new tunneling project could be one day. This very futuristic design includes car slots that bring cars down an elevator-type machine into an underground high-speed highway system. Cars would drive into the sled-like devices that would descend underground to the network of tunnels that would be built by Musk’s company.

From there, the sleds would connect to a track that would send the cars zooming through the tunnels at about 120 miles per hour. Musk mentions during the talk that there are no concerns about crashing since the supercomputer could carefully direct traffic so that each car’s sled rides are at a safe distance apart. Plus, the physical driver of the car would not be operating the vehicle, leaving it all up to the sled.

Since Musk is basing this idea on California traffic, it is noted that one could get from Compton to Malibu in only a few minutes; a trip that would typically take about an hour. That being said, could this concept work on highways such as the BQE, Belt Parkway, or even the Staten Island expressway? Could the future allows us to get to our Manhattan and Brooklyn destinations in only a few minutes rather than an hour or so in traffic?

Even if these would make great options for New York City, Musk admits that the Boring Company has little idea on what they are actually doing. He knows that building tunnels and tubes underneath cities, such as Los Angeles, is not only riddled with regulatory challenges but would also be an engineering nightmare. While this concept may be a fantasy, we believe that if anyone can accomplish it, it will be Elon Musk!

Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter! Make your comment or ask your question and Mandy, or one of our Staff Team members will discuss this with you!

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