Tesla CEO Elon Musk
Tesla CEO Elon Musk. Getty Images/Justin Sullivan

Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk gave the world the concept of Hyperloop — a superfast ground-based mass transit system — in 2013, but none of his companies have done anything to take it forward, leaving it instead for others to do so. However, Musk is not entirely removed from the development of the technology, since SpaceX is organizing a Hyperloop competition right outside its headquarters this weekend.

Various teams, made up of university students and independent engineers, have been at the competition venue for some days already.

But in the middle of all the excitement, Musk put out another tweet about a completely unrelated development.

The SpaceX and Tesla Motors CEO had on Wednesday tweeted his seriousness to start digging tunnels to ease traffic congestion in urban areas, and had earlier referred to a potential business as “The Boring Company.” But in his tweets Wednesday, he said the plan to start digging would take off in about a month. And as the tweet from late Friday night shows, it is actually happening in less than a week.

Some people have said Musk is keen on learning the intricacies of tunneling less to ease urban congestion and more for his intent to colonize Mars, where digging tunnels will be a necessity. But whatever his motive, tunnels could just be a viable solution for solving the traffic woes that afflict most cities around the world.

After all, Hyperloop concept is also geared toward a similar goal. Hyperloop One, a private company that has nothing to do with Elon Musk, is already talking to Russia and the United Arab Emirates to build transport systems in those countries. Another company, called Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, is in similar talks with the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Ahead of the competition, SpaceX says on its website: “While we are not developing a commercial Hyperloop ourselves, we are interested in helping to accelerate development of a functional Hyperloop prototype. For this reason, SpaceX is running an open competition, geared towards university students and independent engineering teams, to design and build the best Hyperloop pod. To support this competition, SpaceX is constructing a test track adjacent to our Hawthorne, California headquarters. Teams will be able to test their human-scale pods during a competition weekend at the track, scheduled for January 27-29, 2017. The knowledge gained here will continue to be open-sourced.”

The company will also hold another Hyperloop competition, Hyperloop Pod Competition II, which will focus only on maximum speed. The event will be held in Summer 2017, and the exact dates have not yet been announced.