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Musk and Braess

Sources:

https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/43g8yn/why-elon-musks-tunnel-system-cant-solve-congestion-in-lahttps://www.wired.com/story/elon-musk-boring-company-tunnels-los-angeles-plan/

Elon Musk announced a few years ago that he wants to build a tunnel system to solve the traffic and congestion problems that plague LA and other big cities. In his plan, passengers, cyclists, and cars would get into pod or platforms (electric skate) for less than a bus ticket and be shot at 150 mph to another station. So the Boring Company was created to build these tunnels. There are currently 4 projects. There were many concerns about funding, structural integrity, etc. In the perspective of this class, we will focus on whether or not this plan can fix congestion.

Now in this Motherboard Vice piece, Corin Faife talks about his concerns. The first one he raises is Braess’s paradox. This is how Elon Musk’s Boring company relates to our class. We learned in class, through examples, that if there are routes traveling from A to B (A to C to B and A to D to B) and that a new route is created between C and D, that the travel time from A to B can actually increase. We learned that giving choices to people can actually increase their travel time. So following this paradox, the tunnels run the possibility of actually making travel time longer instead of alleviating traffic.  Faife states, “the best way to improve traffic flow, very simply, is not to build more roads, but to have fewer vehicles on the roads.” So although Musk has addressed many of the structural and economical concerns that have arisen, he has not really addressed Braess’s paradox, except in this one tweet.

https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/825212805498302464?lang=en

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