underground buses:The vehicles, based on the same ‘electric sled’ that owners will drive their cars onto, have space for seated and standing passengers – although the firm has not yet released any details other than the pictures
Musk has come under fire repeatedly from experts claiming it is impractical and would be impossible to implement.
Earlier this month the firm published an FAQ on its website outlining how it plans to achieve his vision.
‘The key to making this work is increasing tunneling speed and dropping costs by a factor of 10 or more – this is the goal of the Boring Company,’ it says.
‘Unlike flying cars, tunnels are weatherproof, out of sight and won’t fall on your head,’ it explains.
‘A large network of road tunnels many levels deep would fix congestion in any city, no matter how large it grew (just keep adding levels)’
Musk recently revealed it has begun work on its first tunnel beneath Los Angeles, which will stretch from LAX to Sherman Oaks when complete.
It has been just six months since Musk first revealed his radical plan to beat LA’s notorious gridlock – and now, the entry hole, staging area, and starting tunnel for the first Boring Machine, ‘Godot,’ is complete, Musk says.
Critics have slammed the plan as completely unrealistic as it would require a mass of permits and huge disruption as hundreds of tunnels and access ‘lifts’ are dug.
It is also unclear if the machine has actually been used to dig anything – with images of an electric ‘sled’ having been filmed in another nearby tunnel SpaceX has been using to test pods for Musk’s Hyperloop.
However, Musk says the area is ripe for innovation.
‘Currently, tunnels are really expensive to dig, with some projects costing as much as $1 billion per mile,’ the new FAQ says.
‘In order to make a tunnel network feasible, tunneling costs must be reduced by a factor of more than 10.’
underground buses:Musk recently revealed it has begun work on its first tunnel beneath Los Angeles , which will stretch from LAX to Sherman Oaks when complete.
Musk envisions a new breed of smaller, more powerful Tunel Boring Machines with triple the power of current machines that can tunnel continuously
The key to this is smaller tunnels that can be dug more quickly, the FAQ says.
‘To build a one-lane road tunnel, the tunnel diameter must be approximately 28 feet.
‘By placing vehicles on a stabilized electric sled, the diameter can be reduced to less than 14 feet.
Reducing the diameter in half reduces tunneling costs by 3-4 times.
‘Secondly, increase the speed of the Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM).
‘TBMs are super slow.
‘A snail is effectively 14 times faster than a soft-soil TBM.
‘Our goal is to defeat the snail in a race.’
Musk envisions a new breed of smaller, more powerful TBMs with triple the power of current machines that can tunnel continuously.
‘In the United States, there is virtually no investment in tunneling Research and Development (and in many other forms of construction).
‘Thus, the construction industry is one of the only sectors in our economy that has not improved its productivity in the last 50 years,’ it concludes.
In a series of posts today, Musk revealed a glimpse at the processes that are bringing the first tunnel to life, in the first stages of a network that will ‘cover all of greater LA.’
Musk also offered a look at a test run of the tunnel’s ‘electric sleds,’ which will ferry cars at 125 miles per hour to bring passengers from Westwood to LAX in just five minutes.
Last week, Musk solicited help on Twitter to come up with names for his boring machine.
And, after a flurry of suggestions ranging from ‘Snoop Dug’ to ‘Tunnely McTunnelface,’ Musk settled on a theme of ‘poems & plays.’
Boring Machine 1 has now officially been dubbed ‘Godot.’
underground buses:In several photos and videos shared on social media today, Musk revealed that work on Godot is well underway, with the entry hole, staging area, and starting tunnel complete.
‘First tunnel for The Boring Company begins,’ Musk wrote, alongside a photo of the entryway.
‘Full length of first tunnel will run from LAX to Culver City, Santa Monica, Westwood, and Sherman Oaks.
‘Future tunnels will cover all of greater LA.’
In the posts, he also gave a look at the boring machine segments being lowered into the starter tunnel.
These are now ‘going through final assembly,’ according to Musk, and will eventually be ‘a few hundred feet long.’
And, Musk shared a video of the rotating cutterhead, which is currently operating at standard industry speed – but, he says the firm is ‘planning to jack this up by a factor of ten or more.’
A hypnotic video also shared today reveals what it could one day be like traveling through the tunnel at high speed.
Starting the post with a warning that the video could cause motion sickness or seizures, Musk wrote:
‘This is a test run of our electric sled that would transport cars at 125 mph (200 km/h) through the tunnels, automatically switching from one tunnel to the next.
‘Would mean Westwood to LAX in 5 mins.’
Musk also shared a photo of his pet snail alongside the impressive machine, writing:
The race between Gary, our pet snail, who lives in a pineapple, and Godot, our tunnel boring machine, begins soon!’
Last month, Musk revealed the first details of the project at the TED conference in Vancouver.
A video showed off the electric ‘skates’ transporting cars in a narrow tunnel under a city before raising them back to street level in a space as small as two parking spaces.
underground buses:Inside the tunnels, Musk said cars could travel as fast as 200 kilometers per hour (roughly 130mph) according to Axois .
‘You should be able to go from say Westwood to LAX in 5-6 minutes,’ the Tesla and SpaceX founder said.
He admitted he is spending only 2-3 percent on the tunnel effort, which was ‘mainly interns’.
He started the talk by admitting ‘I ask myself that frequently’ when asked why he was boring.
underground buses:Elon Musk’s ‘Boring Company’ plan to build a network of tunnels under major cities – but so far has only shown car owners using them.
Now, the firm has revealed its own vehicle – an underground electric bus.
The vehicles, based on the same ‘electric sled’ that owners will drive their cars onto, have space for seated and standing passengers.
They are mainly glass – even through they are designed to travel underground.