Gary has worn a lot of hats through the years. He is passionate about business ownership, investing, and practical entrepreneurship.
Elon Musk's Underappreciated Gem
Many people are familiar with Elon Musk's EV company Tesla (TSLA), as well as his powerhouse, SpaceX. He has also made headlines with other projects, including an ultra-high bandwidth brain-machine interface. What most people aren't aware of is that another company of his has the potential to change metropolitan transportation for the better.
In this article, we'll look at The Boring Company and how it's positioned to rapidly build underground transportation systems in major cities and regions around the world.
The Boring Company
At first glance it appears The Boring Company (TBC) is simply another business using heavy machinery to get things done. But true to form for companies run by Elon Musk, there's a lot more to the company in regard to cutting edge technology than its peers.
In 2022, the company raised another $675 million in its Series C venture capital round, bringing its total valuation to a hefty $5.7 billion. And it's just getting started.
The means to dig the tunnels is a machine technology with the interesting and unusual name of Prufrocks (try saying that ten times real fast). The additional capital will help the company manufacture many more of the machines. Musk hopes cities and municipalities use his company to develop underground tunnels that will improve traffic and travel in large urban areas.
“Prufrock Is Alive”
The center of The Boring Company's operations is the Prufrock. The cylindrical-shaped machine is able to tunnel at approximately one mile a week, vastly improving the speed at which it can get the job done.
With the additional capital raise, the company would be able to dig ten miles a week if using ten machines. It's amazing to think of how quickly it can get things done in comparison to past projects that took many years and multi-billions in dollars spent.
But digging at a rapid pace is just one of the many technological improvements the Prufrock offers. It is designed to "porpoise" or dive into the ground and start digging at a predetermined depth.
The autonomous machine is also able to lay support infrastructure in the tunnel as it digs, removing the need to build tunnel walls separately. That's one of the reasons it is able to dig much faster, because it bypasses the need to start and stop as was needed in the past.
Not too long ago the company finished up a 1.7-mile loop under the Las Vegas Convention Center for a modest $47 million, far less than similar projects in the past would have cost, and it did it in a matter of weeks.
What's also compelling about these projects is once the infrastructure and tunnels are completed, The Boring Company will be able to quickly add fully autonomous pods that can transport people throughout the system that it built.
Musk's Boring Company doesn't get the attention his other companies get because of the perception it's just about tunnels and digging dirt. But as shown above, that couldn't be further from the truth.
The extraordinary ability of the Prufrock to rapidly dig tunnels while laying infrastructure is a game-changer, and it could very well transform the transportation systems of large metropolitan areas.
With hundreds of millions now available to build Profrocks, it's only a matter of time before we hear of numerous projects the company will be engaged in, for the improvement of transportation in major cities, while alleviating some of the traffic glut.
The bottom line is Elon Musk sees solutions to problems most other people aren't aware exist, and is able to rapidly design answers to them. In the hands of Musk, even a relatively "boring" business like tunneling becomes a way to make life better by developing a functional technology that surpasses anything before it.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.