In an appearance at the TED conference in Vancouver, Musk showed off a new video visualization of electric skates transporting cars in a narrow tunnel, then raising them back to street level in a space as small as two parking spaces. Inside the tunnels, Musk said cars could travel as fast as 200 kilometers per hour (roughly 130 MPH).

"You should be able to go from say Westwood to LAX in 5-6 minutes," the Tesla and SpaceX founder said, adding he is spending only 2-3% on the tunnel effort.

The challenges: Permissions and cost, and cities would have to approve a network of tunnels. Even if they do, conventional tunnel requirements are exceedingly costly. Musk cited as the example of a recent 2.5-mile LA subway extension that cost $2.5 billion. Musk aims to cut that through narrower tunnels and other moves.

Update: There's a video of the tunnel concept

Why not flying taxis?: I'm in favor of flying things. Obviously I do rockets. This is not some inherent bias. They will be quite noisy." Plus, he notes, there is the risk of something going badly. "If something is flying over your head... that is not an anxiety reducing situation."

Ina Fried/Axios

Opening shot: TED organizer asks Musk "Why are you boring?" Musk: "I ask myself that frequently."

What about Tesla?: Musk also offered an update on Tesla, saying Model 3 production should start in July and that Tesla cars should be able to go fully autonomously by the end of the year from LA to New York, without a driver ever having to touch a control. Musk also said he intends to stay at Tesla as long as he can see into the future (and he looks pretty far into the future.)

That doesn't mean that people will be ready to just nap in the back seat at that point.

"If a car crashes 1 in a 1000 times, you are probably still not going to be comfortable falling asleep," Musk said. "You shouldn't be certainly."

Truck tease: Musk also did a teaser shot of the semi truck Tesla plans to introduce later this year. "This will be a very spry truck," he said. You can drive it around like a sports car."

Ina Fried/Axios

More Gigafactories: Musk said that the company plans to launch two to four more of the massive battery factories this year. "probably four" including perhaps some outside the U.S. "We need to address a global market," he said.

On Trump: Musk said being on two advisory councils lets him raise issues like the need for continued immigration and action on climate change, things that might not otherwise be on the agenda.

Money quote: "I'm not trying to be anyone's savior. I'm just trying to think about the future and not be sad."

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 32,844,146 — Total deaths: 994,208 — Total recoveries: 22,715,726Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 7,078,798 — Total deaths: 204,497 — Total recoveries: 2,750,459 — Total tests: 100,492,536Map.
  3. States: New York daily cases top 1,000 for first time since June — U.S. reports over 55,000 new coronavirus cases.
  4. Health: The long-term pain of the mental health pandemicFewer than 10% of Americans have coronavirus antibodies.
  5. Business: Millions start new businesses in time of coronavirus.
  6. Education: Summer college enrollment offers a glimpse of COVID-19's effect.

Texas city declares disaster after brain-eating amoeba found in water supply

Characteristics associated with a case of amebic meningoencephalitis due to Naegleria fowleri parasites. Photo: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

Texas authorities have issued a warning amid concerns that the water supply in the southeast of the state may contain the brain-eating amoeba naegleria fowleri following the death of a 6-year-old boy.

Details: The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality issued a "do not use" water alert Friday for eight cities, along with the Clemens and Wayne Scott Texas Department of Criminal Justice corrections centers and the Dow Chemical plant in Freeport. This was later lifted for all places except for Lake Jackson, which issued a disaster declaration Saturday.

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What they're saying: Trump nominates Amy Coney Barrett for Supreme Court

Judge Amy Coney Barrett in the Rose Garden of the White House on Sept. 26. Photo: Oliver Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Democratic and Republican lawmakers along with other leading political figures reacted to President Trump's Saturday afternoon nomination of federal appeals court Judge Amy Coney Barrett to succeed Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court.

What they're saying: "President Trump could not have made a better decision," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a statement. "Judge Amy Coney Barrett is an exceptionally impressive jurist and an exceedingly well-qualified nominee to the Supreme Court of the United States."