Elon Musk’s big idea for public transport turns out to be a let-down of cosmic proportions, after it made its deflating debut in Las Vegas.
When Elon Musk christened his tunnel construction venture ‘The Boring Company’, he no doubt thought it was a droll drilling pun and nothing more. But following the debut demonstration of this proposed future public transport system, it looks like there couldn’t possibly be a more apt name for the humdrum reality – a far cry from the eccentric billionaire’s rockets and electric cars.
The original idea was for tunnels to be drilled underneath the city so that self-driving cars could zoom along at 150mph to their destinations, completely uninhibited by gridlocked traffic on the roads above.
Even this conception had its detractors, who pointed out that it missed the usual efficiencies of a public mass-transit system, but no-one was prepared for quite this level of disappointment from the showman who would have made PT Barnum blush.
The cold, soggy reality is shown in the above video: manually-driven Tesla cars pootling along at 35mph at best. Not so much I, Robot; more like I Don’t Care.
Naturally, the Twitter critics were out in force as soon as the video exploded across the microblogging site.
hailmothman captured up the public mood in his simple summation:
This dude really said “how can i make the shittiest subway possible”— 𝕸𝖔𝖙𝖍𝖒𝖆𝖓 𝕱𝖚𝖈𝖐𝖘 (@hailmothman) April 9, 2021
And by gods he did it
When others were quick to point out the benefits of a monorail or metro system compared to this inefficient one-by-one system, bexone pointed out its true allure:
If you’re in your own Tesla and everyone else is in THEIR own Tesla you never run the risk of having to sit next to someone too poor to own a Tesla— Misandrosaurus Bex (@bexone) April 9, 2021
TaconicST delivered a withering reply to one of the few remaining optimists in the project:
you live in a country that can't keep bridges from collapsing or highways from having potholes— Taconic @ dead royal appreciation society (@TaconicST) April 9, 2021
but yes, it will definitely maintain a magical tube with a hard vacuum spanning a continent so you can drive your elon car at 2x the speed of sound through des moines
Doubtless there are changes to come and improvements to be made, but first impressions last; and the lasting impression here is not of a utopian public transportation system, but of one of those lame theme park rides you were reluctantly strapped into when you weren’t tall enough for the good rollercoasters. Stick to SpaceX for now, Elon.