On Tuesday, billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk retweeted an LA Metro tweet that said it’s moving forward with its plan to create a network of tunnels under Los Angeles that will house a new electric transportation system called ‘Loop.’
Musk specifically said that the plan is to offer rides that cost a $1 and carry up to 16 passengers through a tunnel network to small, parking space-size tunnels located across the city.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 18, 2018
The biggest challenge, however, is digging the tunnel network. Elon Musk and project leader Steve Davis alluded that the team at The Boring Company is challenged to match the digging space of a snail (0.03 MPH) and get up to 1/10th of the average human walking speed of about 0.03 MPH, compared to the current pace of around 0.0003 MPH.
Part of this challenge is that team needs to stop drilling to remove all of the dirt, instead of drilling continuously. Musk mentioned the company is working on probable solutions for both the issues.
Test runs in the loop have hit a couple of hundred miles per hour. The Boring Company plans to develop a network of vacuum Hyperloop tubes between cities that would enable high-speed travel at up to 300 MPH. However, the biggest concern is hitting maximum speeds with people inside still seating comfortable.
The Tunnel Vision
Elon Musk is yet to provide a timeframe for the project. The founder and CEO of The Boring Company envisions of creating a new form of transportation to get out of the nasty Los Angeles traffic he famously complains about. "It's the only way we can think of to address the chronic traffic issues in major cities," Musk said at the event addressing a crowd of roughly 750 people. He added that over the 16 years he's lived in LA, the 405 freeway "varied between the seventh and eight levels of hell" and blamed the event's delayed start on traffic.
The billionaire entrepreneur tweeted out a week ago that the first tunnel in Los Angeles is nearly completed.
The tunnels aren’t a part of the nationwide Hyperloop system, which would transport people in pressurized tubes at tremendous speeds. After unveiling the idea of using capsules to ferry people or things in 2012, Musk let other startups take it further by making the IP open source.
In 2017, The Boring Company received an approval to build a Hyperloop network between Washington, D.C. and New York.