[ futurism.com ] Elon Musk Has Finally Confirmed What the Boring Tunnels He’s Making Are For

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Elon Musk Has Finally Confirmed What the Boring Tunnels He’s Making Are For

Boring Through Traffic

Serial entrepreneur Elon Musk is ready to conquer space, roads, roofs, and now even tunnels. What started out as a simple musing on Twitter has now become a full-blown startup aptly named The Boring Company. Today (May 17), the company added a FAQ page, which offers an abundance of new information as to just what the company is really about.

The FAQ explains that Musk’s initial inspiration was: “to solve the problem of soul-destroying traffic.” The solution is to go three-dimensional, which could be done using flying cars — an idea Musk doesn’t think viable — or to go underground. “The other option is to ‘go down’ and build tunnels,” as these provide a fair amount of perks, including weatherproofing and the practically limitless layers of tunnels that could be built.

“Currently, tunnels are really expensive to dig, with some projects costing as much as $1 billion per mile. In order to make a tunnel network feasible, tunneling costs must be reduced by a factor of more than 10,” explains the FAQ. To make the tunnel more cost effective and efficient, its diameter is going to be less than 4 meters (14 feet) — whereas normal one-lane road tunnels are usually about 8.5 meters (28 feet) in diameter. To do this, Musk’s tunnel company would use what it calls an electric skate or sled. “An electric sled is a flat plate on wheels propelled by an electric motor,” the website said.

Musk’s Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) — or Godot — is ready to start digging the first among these network of tunnels. However, as the TBM isn’t even as fast as a snail yet, Musk is determined to find ways to make tunnel digging faster — “to defeat the snail in a race” by increasing the TBM’s speed.

Hyperloop Confirmed

So, there’s now a place to start digging this tunnel under Los Angeles and a machine to do it. But what is this tunnel really meant for? At first, many thought Musk’s tunnels would be like every other tunnel – except they would be longer and could potentially connect “LAX to Culver City, Santa Monica, Westwood and Sherman Oaks,” as Musk said in an Instagram post. Now, however, more details have come to light.

Since the company’s introduction, many (including Futurism) have speculated that the tunnels’ true purpose was to work in tandem with the Hyperloop. This is the real clincher here. It seems like The Boring Company isn’t just going to be for cars. “The electric skate can transport automobiles, goods, and/or people. And if one adds a vacuum shell, it is now a Hyperloop Pod which can travel at 600+ miles per hour,” the site explains.

The Hyperloop is one of Musk’s first ideas to revolutionize transportation. While he doesn’t have a company working directly on Hyperloop technology, Musk has been behind several initiatives to turn it into a reality. Now, with The Boring Company, Musk is building a platform to launch and test the various Hyperloop efforts he helped put into motion.

The post Elon Musk Has Finally Confirmed What the Boring Tunnels He’s Making Are For appeared first on Futurism.

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