The Boring Company’s Underground Tunnel | Elon Musk Unveils
Elon Musk, Tesla founder, first thought of the idea of an underground tunnel in 2016 after being frustrated by Los Angeles’ notorious traffic. With that thought in mind he founded The Boring Company. The Boring Company is an infrastructure and tunnel construction company founded by Elon Musk in 2016. Elon Musk has cited difficulty with Los Angeles traffic and limitations with the current 2-D transportation network as inspiration for the project.
Referring to traffic congestion, he said, “It’s like acid on the soul – it’s horrible!”
The initial Test Tunnel, located in Hawthorne, CA, is being used for the research and development of The Boring Company’s tunneling and public transportation systems. He launched a prototype of the mile-long (1.8km) tunnel that will allow cars to move at up to 241km an hour. Using the Tesla Model X car to test out the tunnel, the vehicle is lowered into the tunnel with an elevator. The alignment leaves SpaceX property (parking lot east of Crenshaw Boulevard and south of 120th Street), turns west under 120th Street, and terminates 1.14 miles away at the corner of Prairie Avenue and 120th Street.
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The test tunnel costed a whooping $10 million. The first section of the Hawthorne tunnel, including O’Leary Station, was completed in December 2018. The tunnel has green and red lights that indicate whether the car should slow down or move faster. The cars have extra alignment wheels that allow it to move swiftly through the narrow tunnel. There is also an elevator to put the car on track. The sole purpose is to demonstrate that a lift can be built in very small footprints and within existing buildings, whether they are houses, office buildings, or retail parking lots. Looking forward, one could have a lift in the basement of every office building, allowing extremely convenient commutes. The tunnel runs beneath the municipality of Hawthorne, where the Boring Company and SpaceX are both based.
With a positive vibe, Elon Musk feels that The Boring Company’s test tunnels will be a traffic killer for the future. He further said, “It sounds like we have all the answers, and this is an immediate panacea everyone can jump on, and problem solved. But we’re obviously at the early stages here. It’s an early prototype and we’re figuring things out.“