- Elon Musk tweeted a walk-through video of the first Boring Company tunnel over the weekend.
- The time-lapse shows a lengthy tunnel for the company’s autonomous pods, which it says can travel up to 150 miles per hour.
The Boring Company’s first tunnel under the streets of Los Angeles appears to be taking shape.
CEO Elon Musk heralded the completion on Twitter, saying the tunnel was “on track for opening party Dec. 10,” along with a mesmerizing time-lapse video of the tunnel’s full length.
The tunnel “will be very one-dimensional,” the billionaire added — a nod to the three-dimensional theory he laid out in an interview with Recode’s Kara Swisher last week, in which Musk explained how tunnels had historically been limited to a single dimension. If someone could figure out how to bore through rock at less expense, he continued, there could theoretically be no limit to the layers of tunnels crisscrossing below the surface.
The Boring Company’s plan to ease traffic is relatively simple, but has been criticized by transportation experts.
The Boring Company via YouTube
According to the company’s website, passengers will enter a “pod” vehicle that can hold between 8 and sixteen passengers, which is then lowered into the tunnel.
Even at a capacity of 16 people per “skate,” the capacity of the system is a tiny fraction of a traditional subway system. The New York City subway, for example, can carry up to 2,000 passengers in a single 10-car train. And the system can handle 24 of those trains per hour.
Musk’s number one goal: reduce tunneling costs
The company claims tunneling costs must be reduced at least 10-fold for a network of crisscrossing tunnels to be feasible. It’s not clear what the current costs for The Boring Company tunnels might be, but the firm claims to have engineered a cheaper way through smaller diameters and 24/7 boring.
Once finished, here’s how a cross-section of the tunnels will look.
The system can also transport individual cars, but will prioritize pedestrians and cyclists, its website says, at speeds up to 150 miles per hour.
The tunnel walls are equipped with vertical “curbs” to keep the skates in line as they travel, and a walkway for maintenance and emergency exits.
Eventually, it could make up a sprawling network.
The Boring Company via YouTube
Speaking with Recode, Musk said eventually there could be 100 levels of tunnels below the streets.
“We do expect to, over time, create a network of tunnels under greater LA,” he said, “and I think this is really the key to getting around the city very fast. You’ve got to go 3-D.”
“You could certainly have a subway system which had many layers of tunnels, but the tunnels are so prohibitively expensive that they don’t do it. But you can go down 100 levels if you want to, you could have 100 layers of tunnels on top of each other … the key is a massive improvement in tunneling technology. That’s the linchpin, that’s fundamentally what it amounts to.”
Until then it’s all eyes on the December 10 launch party
The Boring Company