The Boring Company shows off tunnel efficiency, nabs Las Vegas contract

by admin May 25, 2019 at 12:21 am

The Boring Company continues to pursue its revolutionary idea of bypassing traffic, and moving commuters in high-speed underground tunnels. Elon Musk’s tunneling company decided to show off just how much quicker a ride is compared to sitting in traffic.

The Boring Company published video to Twitter on Friday of a race between a standard trip through traffic and a ride in its first test tunnel n Hawthorne, California. The Boring Company sent a Tesla through the tunnel at 127 mph. Another Tesla drove the streets in local traffic. The results were as expected. The tunnel trip took about one and a half minutes; driving through traffic brought the driver to the same destination in four and a half minutes.

The Boring Company tunnel

The Boring Company tunnel

While the drive was rather short, it was a small-scale test to show how much time the tunnel trip can save. Of course, that doesn’t account for typical commercial problems such as wait times at a station if and when The Boring Company’s tunnels become mainstream.

Las Vegas will find out firsthand if those types of problems will exist. The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority Board of Directors approved a contract with The Boring Company to build a tunnel loop under the Las Vegas Convention Center. The tunnel system will connect the LVCC’s New Exhibit Hall with the existing campus. The project should be a great way to understand how feasible the company’s tunnel system is and how it will operate before taking the project to a larger scale. A typical walk between the latest exhibit hall and the old campus takes about 15 minutes. The Boring Company said its tunnel will shuttle people each way in just one minute.

The Boring Company concept

The Boring Company concept

Yet, it remains unclear how the company will deploy vehicles in the tunnels. At first, The Boring Company said skateboards of sorts would take pedestrians, cyclists, and even cars through the tunnels. Then, Musk declared the company would focus on mass transportation instead. However, in the race video above, Musk pointed out no running gear propels the Tesla through the tunnel. Instead, a clever AutoPilot trick navigates the car through the tunnel at high speeds. The Boring Company has floated purpose-built pods in the future, but we haven’t seen a real-life example yet.

The company has a deadline of January 2021 to complete the LVCC loop, so answers to these questions are not too far into the future.

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