All posts in “Elon Musk”

Elon Musk celebrates The Boring Company’s L.A. tunnel completion with a video

Image: DAVID MCNEW/AFP/Getty Images

There’s light at both ends of The Boring Company’s first tunnel.

Elon Musk celebrated his tunneling company’s success on Friday night as a key phase in one of two ongoing Los Angeles projects came to an end. Just before 8:00 p.m. PT, Musk shared a video of a mammoth boring machine breaking through an opening to mark the end of the company’s Hawthorne tunnel.

Work on The Boring Company’s first “Hawthorne test tunnel” began in mid-2017. It runs the SpaceX headquarters (another Musk-founded company) and follows Hawthorne’s 120th St. for about two miles.

An opening ceremony is planned for Dec. 10, at which point the public will be able to check out the tunnel for the first time. It’s worth noting that The Boring Company’s website describes the soon-to-be-completed bit that will open on Dec. 10 as only the “first section” of what will presumably be a longer Hawthorne tunnel.

There are other projects in development as well. Also in L.A. is the “Dugout Loop,” which will give the residents of Los Felix, East Hollywood, and Rampart Village easier access to Dodger Stadium. Outside of California, The Boring Company is also working on a “Chicago Express Loop” for easier access to the city’s O’Hare Airport and an “East Coast Loop” that will connect Washington, D.C. and Maryland.

The Hawthorne tunnel is the smallest of those projects, and can accurately be characterized as The Boring Company’s proof-of-concept tunnel. Still, with the Dec. 10 opening now less than a month away, opening up the other end of the tunnel — which workers have been sealing off behind the boring machine — is a major step forward.

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Elon Musk is playing superhero again. This time with the California wildfires.

As California’s deadly wildfires rage on, none other than billionaire SpaceX and Tesla founder Elon Musk has come forth to offer help once again.

Just after midnight (ET) on Saturday morning, Musk took to Twitter (where else?) to offer help from his electric vehicle company Tesla, which is based in the state.

“If Tesla can help people in California wildfire, please let us know,” he tweeted. “Model S & X have hospital grade HEPA filters. Maybe helpful for transporting people.”

He also reportedly sent out an email to Tesla employees giving them permission to assist in any way they could, and for them to “not worry about payment” according to the memo obtained by Electrek. 

“If there’s any way for Tesla to be helpful, please provide assistance and don’t worry about payment,” Musks email reportedly said.

This wouldn’t be the first time Musk has volunteered his or his companies’ services to help a disaster. 

In 2017, on Musk’s orders, Tesla shipped its Powerpack and Powerwall batteries to hospitals ravaged by Hurricane Maria. Then in the summer of 2018, Musk attempted to help with efforts to rescue the Thai soccer team that was trapped in a cave for 17 days.

He controversially insisted on building a kid-sized “submarine” and sending it to Thailand to transport them through the treacherous tunnels. While Musk likely had good intentions, his offer ended up being more interference that would land him in hot water with British cave diver Vern Unsworth, who did help rescue the trapped team, and whom he repeatedly accused of being a pedophile. 

Bizarrely, after initially apologizing to Unsworth, Musk backpedaled and doubled down on the unsubstantiated claim after immaturely goading the cave diver into suing him, which is happening.

The question facing Musk is has he really changed his tune? Can he and Tesla really provide actual aid without interfering with the authorities? Or is this yet another marketing ploy to shout out Tesla veiled as an offer of help? 

After the episode in Thailand over the summer, some think that Musk’s seemingly always-buzzing noggin is just savvily taking advantage of another unfortunate situation.

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Tesla announces Elon Musk’s replacement as board chair: Robyn Denholm

After weeks of speculation, we now know who’s going to replace Elon Musk as chairman of Tesla’s board of directors: The CFO of Australian telecom Telstra, Robyn Delhorm. 

According to the announcement, Denholm will be leaving Telstra after a six-month notice period to devote fully to Tesla. 

The task is not entirely new for Denholm; she’s served on the Tesla Board as an independent director since 2014. Besides Telstra, her previous experience includes Juniper Network, Sun Microsystems and Toyota. 

“I believe in this company, I believe in its mission and I look forward to helping Elon and the Tesla team achieve sustainable profitability and drive long-term shareholder value,” she said in a statement.

Musk, who will continue to serve as Tesla CEO, had to be replaced as chairman as part of his settlement with the SEC. It’s all a result of Musk’s tweet in August about taking the company private, which later turned out to be unsubstantiated. 

“Robyn has extensive experience in both the tech and auto industries, and she has made significant contributions as a Tesla Board member over the past four years in helping us become a profitable company,” Musk said in a statement. 

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Elon Musk knows some of his tweets are too much and that ‘Tesla cannot die’

Elon Musk goes into his wild 2018.
Elon Musk goes into his wild 2018.

Image: DAVID MCNEW/AFP/Getty Images

Tesla, SpaceX, and the Boring Company CEO Elon Musk made an appearance on Recode’s podcast and he talked to the publication’s Kara Swisher about tweeting, building a car company, a cyberpunk Tesla pickup truck, electric scooters, and the race to self-driving cars. Plus a whole lot more, like the eccentric billionaire’s likely demise on Mars.

In an hour-plus conversation the tech journalist hit on a lot of hot topics and Musk didn’t evade or skip around most answers. He admitted that his tweeting habit — while not as time-consuming as some might assume, at about 15 minutes a day — led to to some regrettable moments.

“It’s fair to say I would probably not have tweeted some of the things I tweeted, that was probably unwise. And probably not gotten into some of the online fights that I got into. I probably shouldn’t have attacked journalists, probably shouldn’t have done that,” he said.

He didn’t mention the $40-million tweet that stripped him of his chairman title after the SEC accused him of securities fraud for posting about taking Tesla private. But he did say he can’t tweet as freely now because of an SEC settlement. “I think it’s mostly just if it’s something that might cause a substantial movement in the stock during trading hours,” he said.

So he’ll still be tweeting.

We got clued into some new Tesla vehicles, like the Roadster sports car and Model Y mid-size SUV. Then Musk got giddy over the future Tesla pickup truck.

“It’s gonna be like a really futuristic-like cyberpunk, Blade Runner pickup truck. It’s gonna be awesome, it’s gonna be amazing. This will be heart-stopping. It stops my heart. It’s like, oh, it’s great,” he said.

But don’t expect a Tesla scooter — Musk says it “lacks dignity” even if it’s an electric vehicle. But an e-bike or electric plane aren’t out of the question.

As to Tesla competitors, Musk didn’t get into it, but he acknowledged that in terms of self-driving cars Google’s Waymo is the closest to accomplishing autonomous driving. He says it’s a software issue and that Tesla’s Autopilot software is the best contender. Tesla is likely to have fully self-driving vehicles out in 2019.

“I don’t wanna sound overconfident, but I would be very surprised if any of the car companies exceeded Tesla in self-driving, in getting to full self-driving,” he said.

All this hard work (and no sleep, though Musk says he’s working on resting more) for his various companies really stem from Musk’s core belief that his innovations push everyone forward, especially when it comes to electric vehicles.

“Tesla cannot die,” he told Swisher. “Tesla is incredibly important for the future of sustainable transport and energy generation. The fundamental purpose, the fundamental good that Tesla provides is accelerating the advent of sustainable transport and energy production.”

The conversation was recorded on Halloween and includes some digging and tunnel dad jokes, naturally.

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Elon Musk goes underground to show ‘disturbingly long’ LA tunnel

The Boring Company CEO Elon Musk seems to be confounded about what a tunnel is. It’s ironic since the company’s main mission is to build tunnels for quick, high-speed underground travel. Or the tweets are just Musk being faux-modest about what his company’s accomplished.

Musk, the man behind SpaceX and Tesla, said ln October that a tunnel in Los Angeles would open by the end of the year. On Saturday night he tweeted a preview of the dark and “one-dimensional” underground tube. 

He said he walked the entire tunnel and found it “disturbingly long.” The tunnel is supposed to be 2.7 miles upon completion.

These all seem to be common descriptors for tunnels, but Musk is still surprised by the tunnel’s tunnelness.

The first section of the Hawthorne test tunnel that Musk showed in a 34-second timelapse video will be open for rides, so pedestrians and cyclists can try it out, after an opening party on Dec. 10. 

In a new podcast interview with Recode’s Kara Swisher Musk talked about The Boring Company and building a network of tunnels under Los Angeles. Again he brought up the dimensionality of the tunnel — and distinguished what makes his tunnels different from a subway system. 

“…even subways tend to be essentially two-dimensional. You’ll have a subway cross another subway, but they’ve never really tried to make many layers of subways,” he said.

He called the upcoming opening event a “one-dimensional party” — it seems he really wants us to understand this is a single tunnel going from point A to point B. Low expectations.

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