Elon Musk says his Boring Company’s Las Vegas ‘people mover’ tunnel will be operational by the end of 2019
- Las Vegas chose the Boring Company to build an underground ‘people mover’
- Elon Musk says he expects the tunnel to be ‘operational by the end of the year’
- The tunnel would help passengers get around the Las Vegas convention center, but could later be expanded to connect to other parts of the city or the airport
Elon Musk’s tunneling company has gotten the greenlight to get started on its next project.
The Las Vegas visitors authority selected the Boring Company to build an underground ‘people mover’ as part of a massive convention center expansion.
In a tweet late Tuesday, Musk said he expects the tunnel to be ‘operational by the end of [the] year.’
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A concept design of the entrance to the Boring Company’s express-route loop tunnel in Las Vegas. Elon Musk said Tuesday that he expects the tunnel to be operational by late 2019
The Boring Company will design, construct and operate a convention center transport system consisting of a loop of express-route tunnels capable of carrying passengers in autonomous electric vehicles at high speeds, according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA).
‘Looking forward to building a Boring Company tunnel in Vegas,’ Musk said in a message fired off on Twitter.
‘Assuming to be operational by end of year!’
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If the tunnel isn’t ready by the end of 2019, the Boring Company is eyeing a completion date of January 2021, just in time for the annual Consumer Electronics Show.
A final contract for the project was to be negotiated and presented for approval at a meeting in June.
The cost was expected to range from $35 million to $55 million, depending on the route and number and size of stations.
While the route would only serve the convention center, the LVCVA said it could potentially expand the tunnel to connect downtown, the McCarran International Airport, the Las Vegas Boulevard Resort Corridor and other parts of the city.
A map of proposed Boring Company tunnel routes connecting to the convention center. The LVCVA said it has the potential to be expanded to include other destinations around the city
The firm will construct a loop of express-route tunnels that can carry riders in autonomous electric vehicles at high speeds. Pictured is a concept design of a transport vehicle
The Las Vegas Convention Center will cover some 200 acres when the expansion is completed.
A walk from one end to the other would stretch approximately two miles, creating a need for ‘an on-property guest transportation solution,’ according to the visitors authority.
It marks the latest in a series of contracts won by the Boring Company to construct high-speed tunnels in a major urban area.
Most recently, the Boring Company’s plans to build an express loop in Chicago have been called into question with the upcoming mayoral race.
The city had previously agreed to move forward with the Boring Company’s plan to construct a high-speed tunnel connecting the O’Hare International Airport and the downtown district.
Aside from the Boring Company’s high-speed loop tunnel, the city of Las Vegas also received proposals to build trams, gondolas and monorails.
‘Las Vegas is a high-energy, high-technology destination equipped to welcome the world, and we are excited to deliver a system that will help visitors efficiently navigate the city’s many offerings,’ said Steve Davis, president of The Boring Company, in a statement.
Davis told the Verge that the Boring Company is considering using Model Xs, Model 3s or another specially designed vehicle to transport passengers in the underground tunnel.
A proposed map of possible extensions for the tunnel beyond the convention center. The route could be extended to parts of downtown, as well as the Las Vegas Boulevard Resort Corridor
Musk late last year took a break from futuristic electric cars and private space travel to unveil a low-cost tunnel he sees as a godsend for city traffic.
The billionaire behind Tesla and SpaceX put the spotlight on the a 1.14 mile (1.8 kilometer) tunnel created by his Boring Company in Southern California for about $10 million.
The sample tunnel is part of Musk’s vision to have an underground network that cars, preferably Teslas, can be lowered to by lifts, then slotted into tracks and propelled along at speeds up to 150 mph (241 kmh).
Musk founded the Boring company slightly more than two years ago as a self-financed, side-endeavor to his work at Tesla and SpaceX.
The broad vision is that electric vehicles on city streets would be able to easily drop into tunnels or rise out using elevator platforms built into streets, or ramps where space allows.
WHAT IS ELON MUSK’S ‘BORING’ PLAN?
When Elon Musk first announced his plans to bore a tunnel to his SpaceX offices in Los Angeles, it was hard to know if he was simply venting his frustrations about being stuck in traffic.
‘Traffic is driving me nuts. Am going to build a tunnel boring machine and just start digging…’, he tweeted in December of 2016.
He ended his rant on the social media site with: ‘I am actually going to do this’.
The billionaire’s tunnel-digging firm ‘The Boring Company’ has presented its plans to build a 6.5-mile (10.5 km) shaft under Culver City, California, at a council meeting. Pictured is an image shared by Musk in October of the firm’s test tunnel in Los Angeles
The billionaire first tweeted a picture of his firm’s boring machine back in February 2017 with the caption ‘Minecraft’ – a reference to the popular video game in which players dig large tunnel networks for resources.
On Monday, January 22, 2018, the Boring Company presented plans to build the 6.5-mile (10.5 km) shaft under Culver City, California, at a council meeting.
According to the plans, the privately-funded tunnel would carry cars on ‘electric skates’ at 150 miles per hour (240 kph) to help with LA’s ‘soul-destroying’ congestion.
The proposed route goes through West Los Angeles passing underneath Sepulveda Boulevard through Culver City.
The tunnel could also make Hyperloop adoption viable.
Hyperloop is a proposed method of travel that would transport people at over 600 miles per hour (965.6 kilometers per hour) between distant locations.
Musk’s proposed first tunnel will run from LAX to Culver City, then to Santa Monica, and end in Westwood. Musk claims the tunnel trip will take five minutes, compared to 45 minutes driving in normal LA traffic
It was unveiled by Elon Musk in 2013, who at the time said it could take passengers the 380 miles (610km) from LA to San Francisco in 30 minutes – half the time it takes a plane.
It is essentially a long tube that has had the air removed to create a vacuum.
The tube is suspended off the ground to protect against weather and earthquakes.
In August of 2017, Elon Musk took to social media to share progress on his traffic-beating tunnel beneath Los Angeles, revealing it was big enough to fit a Tesla Model S
Here’s where the Boring Company’s current projects stand:
- Hawthorne: A test tunnel has been permitted and is under construction.
- Los Angeles: An excavation permit application has been submitted to the City of Los Angeles. The project would be a 6.5 mile (10.5 km) proof-of-process tunnel which would run within the City of Los Angeles and Culver City.
- East Coast: The Boring Company says its working with federal and state officials on a DC-to-Baltimore route which would then be extended to New York. The State of Maryland has granted permission for 10.1 miles of tunnel beneath the state-owned part of the Baltimore-Washington. The company has released details of twin tunnels for 35 miles from downtown DC to downtown Baltimore, beneath New York Avenue and then the Baltimore-Washington Parkway. In the future this could be extended to New York.
- Chicago: The Boring Company has been selected to build a high-speed underground transportation system that it says will whisk passengers from downtown Chicago to O’Hare International Airport in mere minutes.
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