Boring Company, Elon and China Could Rebuild the World at 100X the Speed

Nextbigfuture expects Elon Musk’s Boring Company will make massive amounts of underground tunnels in China to bust traffic. China loves building massive amounts of infrastructure. When China embraces an engineering solution they go all in.

China often averages $30 billion per year building subway lines. Boring company has stated that they were seeking to dig tunnels for $10 million per mile or less. If China spent $30 billion per year on Boring company transportation systems and $10 billion went into tunnels and $20 billion went into the electric pods and other in parts of the system then China and Boring would add 1000 miles of tunnels each year. This would over four times cheaper than even the cost of China’s tunnels.

The $10 million per mile price was for countries like the USA where the cost of tunnels is currently $100 million to $1 billion per mile. In China the cost of tunneling is currently about $16 to $60 million per mile. Boring Company has talked about speeding up tunneling by 10 to 20 times. Speed and efficiency improvements could bring the cost in China down to $1 million to $5 million per mile. The amount of tunnels could also increase to many thousands of miles per year.

The Boring Company tunnel dirt will be turned into inexpensive construction bricks. Those bricks would also be very useful for construction in China.

China embraced high-speed rail and now has more than half of all high-speed rail in the world.
China has over half of the world’s heavy trucks.
China has half of the world’s electric cars.

It makes sense for Elon Musk and China to work together to rebuild the world at 10X to 100X of the current pace.

China is already building the Tesla Shanghai Gigafactory at a record-breaking speed.

Shenzhen will soon pass New York to join the top ten world megacities. China has three other cities in the world top ten. Shanghai is second largest megacity after Tokyo. Shanghai has 34 million people.

Guangzhou and Beijing both have around 25 million people.

China has several cities with worse traffic than Los Angeles and Tokyo.
China has ten other cities with over 10 million people.

China built over 20 complete metro subway systems and 100 subway lines in the last ten years. From 2010 to 2015, China built roughly 232 miles of subway lines each year, investing $189 billion into those projects. In 2918, China has subways in 31 cities, with a total of 133 lines covering some 2,700 miles.

37 thoughts on “Boring Company, Elon and China Could Rebuild the World at 100X the Speed”

  1. The boring machines usually install the wall segments at the same time it bores the tunnel. This means the cross section area is set.

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  2. Yes, the speedups mentioned in the article ignore the size differential of Boring’s tunnels vs. a typical subway tunnel (perhaps we could go back to narrow gauge trains, but there’s a reason we haven’t). Musk admits as much when he says the challenges of drilling larger diameter tunnels are exponentially harder.
    Making bricks out of tunneled dirt is a good idea as long as it’s quality controllable.

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  3. They partnered with Apple to rebuild the world with iPhone and iPad. That benefitted China while making Apple the most valuable company in the world. Was that so bad from your POV?

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  4. TBC Loop idea isn’t really a subway or a car tunnel. It’s something new. It’s a major enhancement for robotaxis/robominibuses that travel on surface streets to take people point to point but pop down into a Loop tunnel for fast cross town travel.

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  5. China will likely be the place where Elon breaks through with practical Full Self Driving Level 5 Autopilot as well as Prufrock+ TBMs and together transform transportation in cities.

    It may also be where he get’s his machine that makes the machine automated factory vision to work.

    His value in these things to China’s leadership suggests they may work to find a way to embrace Starlink within the great firewall. Huawei 5G towers connected to Starlink might rapidly connect rural areas.

    If he wants to put a SpaceX Starship port off the coast of Shanghai or Shenzhen they may be friendly to that too.

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  6. you are the richest country in the world. to say that your homeless are better off than india’s homeless really misses the point.

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  7. I think we need to start growing food in tunnels using hydroponic systems and lights powered by solar you would need maybe 2-3 hours of battery capacity then let them run almost direct from the solar during the day to mimic natural conditions. It would be much more controlled for using GMO crops, use less water per acre, and would allow for growing crops not necessarily suited for that climate since you can control the climate easily. That would seriously reduce water use. If we were to continue to grow crops with low irrigation requirements topside then use hydroponic system in tunnels powered by solar for the high irrigation requirement stuff, it could work and keep the surface more natural. It would also provide a safeguard from extreme weather and other natural disasters. Practice for off-planet colonization.

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  8. America’s poor and homeless people still live on average much better than most other countries poor and homeless.
    I have been to 3rd world countries and seen their poor and homeless. They for the most part don’t have shoes and are very apparently starving to death.
    I n America the homeless are usually wearing tennis shoes and quite a few are obese.

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  9. Americas live on the average better than 93% of the rest of the world. It seems to me the average living conditions for the largest group of middle class shows which system of government works best.

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  10. You’re acting like your country is above it, America is a neo-colonial power that has been raping the 3rd world since 2001. The Chinese don’t want to spread ideology, they just do business with those who are willing. PS. as an Italian I can vouch for Mussolini not improving infrastructure, as a matter of fact when we hanged him the country was bombed out.

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  11. They don’t need huge roads in China, there aren’t double decker buses as those are only in tourist areas. Also, they drill multiple times to make the hole bigger, they aren’t going to leave the hole small. It isn’t going to be some dinky little tunnel, they need the space for living and who knows, maybe some living quarters would pop up there!

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  12. There are rocks in dirt that they can break apart to usable building material, it isn’t using actual dirt because it is just breaking it down into more usable elements.

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  13. No, most of those people aren’t working, with the exception being those living in housing restricted cities, such as San Fransisco which are run by people who are supposed to care about the poor, but their policies instead make things worse.

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  14. We have all concrete construction where I live. Still plenty of cockroaches. There’s plenty of places in human dwellings for them to hide. It doesn’t have to be inside a wall.

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  15. The Chinese provide expertise, management, labor, material and financing. What’s not to love. BTW, they also provide bribes.

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  16. The “Boring” company tunnels are too small for mass transit systems. They would be great for water, sewer, natural gas, and electric systems.

    I am not a big fan of small tunnels and small pods. In fact, I think even bigger tunnels would allow double deckers and wider trains that can car even more passengers.

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  17. On a plus side you don’t need to worry about cockroaches because Chinese construction style is just make everything of adulterated concrete minus a few rebars for support… there’s no where inside of the walls for the cockroaches to hide and build a nest because it’s entirely concrete… then of course you have a great variety of bath tiles to cover the concrete exterior of you apartment complex abode..

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  18. Re: turning tunnel dirt into bricks.
    Won’t the practicality of that vary a lot with what you are tunneling through?
    Does anyone have a link to a discussion of that?

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  19. No doubt, and Mussolini made the trains run on time. The problem comes when they decide they want to move on past being China’s subjects. They’re buying immediate gains at the cost of future oppression.

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  20. Agree. Making the day to day situation better for a group of people leads to stability. Stability lowers the odds of that group of people getting pissed off and doing something stupid. You give all those men aged 16 to 40 in volatile parts of the world jobs and stability, and I guarantee you a reduction of violence and other bullshit.

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  21. Those that cant or are unwilling should rightfully fall to the wayside and give way to those that can or are willing.

    time and tide wait for no man

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  22. So America cares about its workers wellbeing i doubt it.. working poor in worlds richest country living under bridges you all should be ashamed .. greedgreedsz all you know

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  23. I’m pretty sure that there are huge chunks of the world, from Pakistan to Angola, where being rebuilt by China would result in a net improvement.

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  24. I’m pretty sure that, if China is involved in rebuilding the world, it’s not going to be a world I want to live in.

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  25. tunneling sounds like something the Chinese would get into… requires lots of labor and they care if a rock falls and crushed somebody to death…

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