Musk's first high-speed underground tunnel makes debut

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, December 20, 2018
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CEO of Tesla Motors Elon Musk speaks at the breakfast meeting with the theme of "Dialogue: Technology & Innovation for a Sustainable Future" during the 2015 Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) in Boao, south China's Hainan Province, March 29, 2015. [Photo / Xinhua]

The first section of the high-speed underground tunnel of Elon Musk's Boring Company makes it debut on Tuesday night.

Musk, chief executive officer of the Boring Company and Tesla Motors, took a modified Tesla Model X zipping through the tunnel, and unveiled the project which he called an "epic."

The 1.14-mile-long (1.8 kilometers) tunnel starts in a parking lot near the headquarters of SpaceX, Musk's another property. The other end of the tunnel is in a neighborhood about a mile away in Hawthorne.

In his presentation, Musk said the demonstration tunnel cost approximately 10 million U.S. dollars.

It was launched two years after Musk complained about the traffic jam in Los Angeles and founded the Boring Company in a bid to tackle the problem by drilling underground.

He called the tunnel a first step in solving "soul-destroying" urban traffic.

Under Musk's plan, platforms would carry pods or cars down to an underground series of passages. The platforms would act as electric sleds, transporting cars or pods across the city at speeds of more than 120 miles an hour.

Musk said pedestrians and cyclists could also take the ride via electric skates.

The unveiling was initially scheduled for Dec. 10, but was pushed back a week.

Regarding why he did tunnels, Musk said there is no practical limit to how many layers of tunnels can be built, so any level of traffic can be addressed. Tunnels are weatherproof. Residents cannot see, hear or feel construction on surface. Unlike freeways, tunnels do not divide communities with lanes and barriers.

The tunnel system could make transport three dimensional, Musk said, adding the system can be improved and expanded indefinitely.

The initial test tunnel is being used for the research and development of the Boring Company's tunneling and public transportation systems, according to the company.

Though engineering and transportation experts are skeptical on whether Musk's tunnel vision will be as revolutionary as promised, the prospect of a high-tech solution to urban congestion has a lot of people excited.

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