Thursday, May 11, 2017

A boring solution

"musking" - the depositing of musk for scent marking by badgers and similar animals. (Oxford Dictionary)
Elon Musk, who is aspiring to become a visionary, technological leader Steve Jobs once was, is leaving his "musk" all over the place.

First, he manufactured some nice, electric Tesla cars and attempted to solve home power issues with Powerwall, then focused on electrification of other means of transport such as trucks and buses, only to finish with The Boring Company that would bring us underground tunnels as the ultimate solution to our traffic problems.

But it worries me that he's exerting his energy in wrong places. As much as cool-looking and technologically-advanced Tesla cars may be, electric cars won't solve any congestion problems because of this:
What Musk fails to notice is that any new solution he envisions still supports to the old "one person per car" policy and as such, requires far too much of precious road space than available. It doesn't matter if his car is electric, autonomous, or travels underground on a 124mph "skate". As long as it only transports one person per vehicle, it's wasteful, pointless and far worse than the old XIX century invention - rail.

Sorry Elon, but space for cars in our cities is severely limited and drilling tunnels underground is not going to change it. It would be far more efficient to build a real high-speed rail between Boston and Washington D.C. that could carry millions of passengers a year, connecting all major cities on the way, than building tunnels for high-speed electric cars.

The only thing I truly like about his idea of tunnels is that they put cars underground. That's a great way of giving streets back to people. And when we already bury our metal boxes deep under, let's just keep them there. At least within the city limits.

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