Elon Musk has been mum on a specific business plan for his newest venture, The Boring Company--aside from maintaining that it's not just a gimmick. His first project has been to drill down into the SpaceX parking lot, creating a hole deep and wide enough to eventually fit a boring machine. The machine then would be used to dig a horizontal tunnel through the earth.
Apparently, that day is approaching. On Thursday, a SpaceX employee posted a photo to Instagram showing a massive boring machine, complete with the new logo for The Boring Company. The post was first spotted by Business Insider. It was soon removed by the employee, but not before others on the internet were able to capture it.
Musk has said that underground transportation is the future of travel--just as a variety of other powerful tech entrepreneurs begin looking to the skies. On Tuesday, Uber announced its intentions to create a network of flying taxis that whisk people around for about the cost of a regular cab. Google co-founder Larry Page is currently funding two flying car startups, Zee.Aero and Kitty Hawk, the latter of which which released a video of its technology in action earlier this week.
While air transportation might be more exciting, Musk maintains that good old-fashioned tunnels will be the better solution to traffic congestion. In addition to the technological hurdles, air travel faces strict regulations. Despite persistent lobbying for rule changes, American companies can't even fly a one-pound drone without adhering to a long list of FAA specifications, like not flying at night, over people, or out of view of a human driver.
Underground tunnels, meanwhile, typically are built on generous government contracts using technology that has existed for decades. Musk wants to update boring machines to operate more quickly and efficiently. The entrepreneur told Bloomberg in February that he envisions building a network of up to 30 levels of tunnels. Both cars and long-distance trains could run underground, including the high-speed Hyperloop that he outlined in 2013, which several companies are currently racing to build.
Musk first introduced his idea to the world with a series of tweets back in December:
Traffic is driving me nuts. Am going to build a tunnel boring machine and just start digging...-- Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 17, 2016
It shall be called "The Boring Company"-- Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 17, 2016
I am actually going to do this-- Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 17, 2016
It's not clear whether the Boring Company has any employees besides Musk right now, nor exactly when he plans to put his first machine to work. But a big hole and a branded machine are a good start.