Elon Musk unveiled the first tunnel completed by the underground transit venture, which he proposed two years ago, on Tuesday as a substitute for LA’s swarming traffic. He gave a 30-minute presentation highlighting the 1.83 km tunnel developed by the Boring Company. He also showed a video of an elevator station that will carry passengers from street level to the tunnels’ entryway. Once they are completely done with developing this new transportation system, passengers and vehicles the electric power will carry them to the other side of the tunnel.
Musk first voiced the idea for some high-speed subterranean network which will give vehicles and pedestrians some respite from the usual traffic. The new tunnel was dug underneath the municipality of Hawthorne which also happens to be the headquarters for his the Boring Company and his SpaceX rocket firm.
The company released a sort of a teasing clip for the 12 feet wide tunnel in May by posting a fast-forward video of its interior shot by a camera traveling its length from its beginning to the end. Whereas digging a mile of the tunnel by conventional and traditional engineering methods may cost up to $1 billion, Musk’s technique will only total up to $10 million, including excavation charges, lighting, infrastructure, safety systems, etc communications, and a track. The traditional method of digging a tunnel is not only cost money wise but also time wise.
Musk’s proposed method will cut down the cost in almost every aspect of digging a tunnel. Musk said that they aspire to be slightly faster than a snail, a creature which, according to him, moves faster than the speed of a typical tunnel digging machine. For the demonstration part, Musk initially offered free rides in the tunnel but no such rides were given as the tour was “by invitation only.” If this first tunnel is successful, the Hawthorne tunnel will eventually be connected to a network of other future tunnels.