Elon Musk Reveals His First Boring Company Test Tunnel in LA

Wednesday, 19 December 2018 - 11:37AM
Technology
Wednesday, 19 December 2018 - 11:37AM
Elon Musk Reveals His First Boring Company Test Tunnel in LA
< >
Screenshot: The Boring Company/YouTube
We've come a long way since December 2016, when Elon Musk tweeted "Traffic is driving me nuts. Am going to build a tunnel boring machine and just start digging" and dubbed his endeavor "the Boring Company." Today, a few days after the two-year anniversary of that tweet, Musk unveiled the first Boring Company test tunnel in LA, which he believes will serve as the prototype for more tunnels in Chicago and other locations. Musk himself called the first test drive "epic," and reiterated the hatred of LA traffic that spurred this whole project: "Traffic is soul-destroying. It's like acid on the soul," he said at the event.



The Boring Company's subterranean tunnels are not to be confused with Musk's other high-speed transportation project, the hyperloop—the Boring Company's tunnels are essentially railroads for cars, which are lowered into the tunnels via elevators and will need to use special wheel attachments to navigate the rails (which are estimated to cost between $200 and $300). According to Musk: "It's much more like an underground highway than it is a subway." The cars will need to be electric and autonomous to operate in the tunnels, but Musk isn't pulling an Apple and making Teslas the only cars compatible with the tracks.



During the test drive, passengers (including journalists) described the ride as surprisingly bumpy, which Musk admitted was because "we kind of ran out of time." Apparently the paving machine Musk had employed was too slow to get things perfectly smooth, but he assured passengers that the final product would be "smooth as glass." If all goes well (including concerns over noise and congestion from construction), Musk hopes to start building full-fledged tunnels in LA by the 2028 Olympics, when the city is planned to host.

As the Boring Company comes into its own despite years of skepticism and ridicule, it's now time to direct our attention to Elon Musk's October 14th, 2018 tweet, which simply said "It is time to create a mecha." We're giving 2-1 odds that that's already in development.
Science
Science News
Technology