Asimov and Musk - Boring Company Tunnel vs. Street Race

One of my favorite science fiction series begins with the novel Foundation, written in 1951 by sf Grandmaster Isaac Asimov.

Hidden in that novel is the idea of single vehicle tunnels:

There was a wall ahead. It began high in the air and extended upward out of sight. It was riddled with holes that were the mouths of tunnels. Gaal's taxi moved toward one, then plunged into it. For a moment, Gaal wondered idly how his driver could pick out one among so many.

There was now only blackness, with nothing but the past-flashing of a colored signal light to relieve the gloom. The air was full of a rushing sound.

(Read more about Isaac Asimov's single vehicle tunnels)

Now, boy genius Elon Musk has daringly challenged city planners everywhere with this race between driving through traffic or zooming through tunnels:


(The Boring Company offers a challenge)

Check out this article which uses a cool 1950's Disney version of tunnel boring - Boring Tunnel Almost Ready.

Also, just to show that Asimov was really fascinated with this idea, he elaborates on it in his 1988 novel Prelude to Foundation:

What appeared before them now looked like a cliff patterned with cave openings, much like a checkerboard. Hummin maneuvered toward the D-7 opening, avoiding other air-taxis that were heading for other tunnels.
"You could crash easily," said Seldon, clearing his throat.
"So I probably would if everything depended on my senses and reactions, but this taxi is computerized and the computer can overrule me without trouble. The same is true for the other taxis. --Here we go."
They slid into D-7 as if they had been sucked in and the bright light of the open plaza mellowed, turning a warmer yellow hue. Hummin released the controls and sat back...
The ride was smooth and the walls of the tunnel slipped by rapidly. There was almost no sound, just a steady velvety whirr as the taxi sped along.
"How fast are we going?" asked Seldon.
Hummin cast an eye briefly at the controls. "Three hundred and fifty kilometers an hour..."
"...Trantor has many thousands of kilometers of these tunnels honeycombing the land subsurface and a number that snake under the shallower extensions of the ocean. It's the chief method of long-distance travel."

Asimov and Musk - you can't go wrong.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 5/13/2019)

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