Digging a hole under LA to fight traffic

Elon Musk mastering the art of making an aspirational business case:

We are trying to dig a hole under L.A., to create [what will hopefully be] a 3D network of tunnels to alleviate congestion.

Elon Musk, The future we’re building — and boring, TED 2017.
  • Defining the problem: Traffic, a soul-destroying part of our life
  • Demoing the solution through video (even if there is no working prototype available
  • Using “back-of-envelope” calculations, such as “from Westwood to LAX in 5-6 minutes” or extensive use of orders-of-magnitude, which intuitively resonate to the human mind
  • Providing a handful of highly technical details
  • Exposing and addressing feasibility counterarguments:
    • Is it possible to build several tunnels one after the other?
    • Isn’t tunnel building too costly and too slow?
  • Framing. Demonstrating superiority to a comparable solution: Why go down and not up? (i.e. why a network of tunnels is better than flying cars?)