Elon Musk’s Boring Company unveiled an underground tunnel in Los Angeles on Tuesday in a bid to address traffic congestion in major cities and provide “proof of concept” for the Tesla CEO’s vision.
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The debut event showcased a roughly two-mile tunnel in Hawthorne, California, near the headquarters of both the Boring Company and Musk’s aviation company SpaceX, to the media and the public. Musk also unveiled an elevator system that will bring the public’s vehicles from the street to tunnel level, as well as autonomous vehicles that could shuttle passengers from place to place at high speeds.
"I thought it was epic," Musk said on Tuesday after testing out the tunnel. "For me it was an epiphany, like this thing damn well worked."
Musk founded The Boring Company in late 2016 after growing frustrated with traffic in Los Angeles. The firm digs tunnels to facilitate underground rapid transportation systems. The tunnels will be able to move vehicles at up to 150 miles per hour, according to Musk.
Aside from the Hawthorne tunnel, Musk is pursuing a project called the “Dugout Loop” that would shuttle passengers from subway stations to Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, as well as a separate system that would connect downtown Chicago to O’Hare International Airport. The Boring Company canceled another planned tunnel from downtown Los Angeles to L.A. International Airport amid pushback from local officials.
Musk’s systems would utilize platforms called “skates” to transport public vehicles at high speeds. The autonomous vehicles would be able to hold as many as 16 passengers per trip and would have an estimated cost of $1 per ride, according to Musk’s preliminary estimates.
The Boring Company is crafting displaced dirt from its tunnels into low-cost bricks, which will be sold to the public and for use in affordable housing projects.