【“无聊”的人改变世界？马斯克的天空与隧道】马斯克是现实生活中的钢铁侠，秉持着语不惊人死不休以及雷厉风行的处事原则，在不断地为改变世界而努力。当飞行汽车成为科技趋势时，马斯克却看衰天空，致力于“地下工作”，甚至建立 Boring Company 计划在洛杉矶建立巨大的地下隧道以供汽车通行。最新消息称，公司正在计划购入巨大的掘进机 Nannie ，似乎掘进工作已经开始。
Flying cars will never take off, claims Elon Musk as he reveals Nannie, the giant tunneling machine his 'boring' company is considering buying
He is famous for his believes tubes and tunnels are the future of transport - and now Elon Musk has claimed flying cars will never take off.
The SpaceX and Tesla founder has revealed his thoughts on the Jetsons sci fi dream.
'Obviously, I like flying things,' Musk told Bloomberg.
'But it's difficult to imagine the flying car becoming a scalable solution.'
He also said there's a risk of falling debris if falling cars were to get in a mid-air crash.
'If somebody doesn't maintain their flying car, it could drop a hubcap and guillotine you,' Musk said.
'Your anxiety level will not decrease as a result of things that weigh a lot buzzing around your head.'
The interview also revealed fresh detail of Musk's plan to start a tunneling firm.
Earlier this month he tweeted a picture of a tunelling machine, after being stuck in heavy traffic in December and coming up with a plan to create a giant tunnel under Los Angeles to ease congestion.
'Traffic is driving me nuts. Am going to build a tunnel boring machine and just start digging...', he tweeted.
Now, the identity of the machine has been revealed.
Nicknamed Nannie after Nannie Helen Burroughs, nationally prominent Black educator, Church leader, and suffrage supporter who founded the National Training School for Women and Girls in Washington, D. C, the machine is 26 feet in diameter, about 400 feet long, weighs 1,200 tons, and was used by Washington's water utility to dig a tunnel to prevent sewage from overflowing into the Anacostia River.
Made by the German company Herrenknecht, Musk was considering buying it for his problem - although admitted to Bloomberg's reporter 'It may make sense to start with something smaller.'
He posted the photo with the caption 'Minecraft' - a reference to the popular video game in which players dig large tunnel networks for resources.
When Musk first announced his plans to bore a tunnel to his SpaceX offices in Los Angeles, it was hard to know if he was simply venting his frustrations about being stuck in traffic.
But he ended his rant on Twitter with: 'I am actually going to do this'.
Musk has yet to confirm, however, whether the image of the tunnel boring machine he tweeted is his own, or its exact purpose.
The entrepreneur has a strong track record of getting ideas off the ground.
Musk has started two transportation related companies - Tesla for electric cars and SpaceX for launching into space.
He has also initiated the development of Hyperloop, a proposed method of travel that would transport people at 745mph (1,200km/h) between distant locations.
And it seems that Musk's tunnelling work has already begun.
Excavators working for the entrepreneur have already dug a test trench at SpaceX's headquarters in Hawthorne, Los Angeles, Wired reported last week.
The trench reportedly measures 30 feet (9 metres) wide, 50 feet (15 metres) long, and 15 feet (4.5 metres) deep.
The hole is legal because it has been dug on private property.
But extending the tunnel further than SpaceX's headquarters would require more discussion, paperwork, and LA City council approval.
'We're just going to figure out what it takes to improve tunneling speed by, I think, somewhere between 500 and 1,000 percent,' he said during a Hyperloop design competition at SpaceX earlier this month.
'We have no idea what we're doing - I want to be clear about that.'
The technology giant proposed a slogan for the company in his string of December tweets: 'Boring, it's what we do.'
Since his original Twitter rant on LA traffic in December Musk has pledged to eliminate the city's infamous congestion by building a network of tunnels.
'If you think of tunnels going 10, 20, 30 layers deep (or more), it is obvious that going 3D down will encompass the needs of any city's transport of arbitrary size,' he told Wired last week in a Twitter direct message.
'You have tall buildings, they're all 3D, and then everyone wants to go into the building and leave the building at a same time,' he said Sunday.
'On a 2D road network, that obviously doesn't work, so you have to go 3D either up or down. And I think probably down.'
But Musk has an uphill battle ahead if he's serious about tunnelling under LA.
Digging under cities takes a lot of time because the densely packed earth and rock underground is poorly mapped.
'Our recent experience with tunnels in the US is that neighbours worry, you run up against various environmental laws, and you just never know what's underneath the Earth,' Michael Manville, who studies urban planning at the University of California, Los Angeles, told Wired.
Boring technology has become much cheaper in recent years thanks to rapid advances in tunnelling technology.
Herrenknecht AG, one of the world's biggest tunnel-boring machine makers, says it is providing machines for as many as 100 projects annually, up from 20 some 15 years ago.
'The ability to deliver a tunnel on time and on budget has changed a lot…and really pushed the industry,' says Achim Kühn, a spokesman for the privately held German company, whose tunnel-boring machines can cost more than £40 million/$50 million each.
Many drilling technologies have been designed with the aim to drill into the moon or Mars to mine them for raw materials.
For example, a company called Zaptec has come up with a new kind of plasma drilling technology that could make drilling on the moon, asteroids or Mars more affordable.