Elon Musk enthused that this was no ordinary tunnel opening, but something epic and “incredibly profound”. Skeptics wondered whether it was just a hyped-up coming-out party for a hole in the ground.
In the end, the first public viewing of Musk’s latest visionary project – an underground “loop” track that promises to revolutionize transport in the 21st-century city – turned out to be a grand mixture of imaginative futurism and showbiz razzmatazz, not to mention a showcase for a novel tunnel-boring technology that may be the most significant development of all.
Whether the technology succeeds in increasing the speed of tunnel construction fifteenfold, as Musk said he hoped it would, or heralds the beginning of a vast underground network of transport channels beneath our cityscapes, is anybody’s guess.
Musk, for one, didn’t sound completely sure. “We’re obviously in the early stages here,” he told reporters. “This is a prototype. We’re figuring things out. What’s really important is that there is a path, finally, finally, finally …
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