Back in May, Elon Musk’s The Boring Company showed off a concept video of a traffic-beating underground tunnel that can rapidly propel cars on sleds. And it looks like the project progressing well, after Musk shared the first photo of the underground test path on his Instagram.
The current tunnel stretches approximately 152m (500ft) long at the moment, and it will take about a year to extend this along the Interstate 405 (from LAX to the 101).
The image revealed a polished design, including cabling, paneled surfaces and tracks.
The tunnel project is intriguing to say the least. Cars, bikes and pedestrians sit on electric sleds that are propelled to up to 200kmph (125mph), making traffic jams a thing of the past.
This will shrink typical travel time of half an hour to about five minutes.
Visually, it seems like one was entering hyperspace. Very sci-fi, yes.
The first leg of the tunnel network is slated to run from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to Culver City, Santa Monica, Westwood, to Sherman Oaks.
The Boring Company believes that tunnels are the “3D solution” to alleviating traffic and transportation challenges. It believes that a large network of tunnels many levels deep will fix congestion in any city.
“Going down” has its advantages as there’s no limit to how many layers of tunnels can be built, they’re essentially weatherproof, and they don’t divide communities with lanes and barriers. Also, tunnel construction and operation are silent and invisible to people on the surface.
The company believes for tunneling to be successful, tunneling speeds and costs must be reduced (by a factor of 10 or more). The fact is, tunnels are expensive to dig, with some projects costing USD1 billion per mile.
The future is underground?