The first tunnel of Elon Musks company The Boring Company opened tonight in Los Angeles. The technology are developed to revolutionize city traffic. “Nice that there are people like Musk who believe in this.”
The images are something futuristic: a car that stands on a sled at street level disappears and is transported at high speed in an underground tunnel. When arriving at the destination, the car is brought back to the street level with a lift. With the Dugout Loop from The Boring Company it seems to be becoming reality.
But wait. The technology behind that is known from 19-th century and the whole idea is nothing ‘revolutionary’ or even interesting. It will be commercially unviable and impractical for users, many of the experts suggest. Elon Musk once again presented a retro-fit of the old ideas packed in the new form with the advertisement added. Anyway the press is well fed to sing a panegyrics.
Last night initiator Elon Musk gave a demonstration in a test tunnel of almost 2 kilometers for journalists. The tunnel in Los Angeles runs under the suburb of Hawthorne, where SpaceX and The Boring Company have their headquarters. Once in the tunnel, the vehicles could eventually safely drive at a speed of more than 240 kilometers per hour, with an interval of one second. “At that speed it feels like you are teleporting within a city”, Musk wrote for the launch on Twitter.
“I thought it was epic”, Musk said afterwards. “It works.” Two years ago he tweeted that the traffic in Los Angeles “made him crazy”. “I’m going to build a drill for tunnels and just start digging,” he wrote on December 18, 2016.
Of course it works. It was demonstrated by London Tube back in… 1863. The photo at the top is from 1968. Courtesy of the Standard.
The Musk Dugout Loop is an alternative to car transport in the city. Innovative and ambitious, according to the Dutch traffic expert Sjoerd Nota.
“It is nice that there are people like Musk, who is a real venture investor.”
The Boring Company has also developed sleds for pedestrians to use. However, the question is whether people use it. Think of the Channel Tunnel, with which you can come to England from France by car.
“Many people still go by boat, because they think scary driving under water, that is a very expensive solution, if they do not use that tunnel. their cars to such an electric lift and tunnel? “
The success of the Loop depends on many factors: does it work well? Is it safe? Do people dare? “If it goes flawlessly and is comfortable and fast, then it can certainly have a future”, according to the expert.
For a ride, the traveler will pay at least one dollar (3/4 pound).
“I am curious to see what the business model looks like,” adds Nota. “Because that tunnel has to transport a lot of people from A to B to be profitable and to provide less traffic on the road.”
The Boring Company signed a contract earlier this year with the City of Chicago to build a tunnel from O’Hare airport to the city center.