Elon Musk promises $1 rides in LA transit tunnels


Tonight at The Boring Company Information Session not all of the talk centered on flamethrowers. Elon Musk and project leader Steve Davis described many details of their visions for an underground network that could alleviate traffic problems in big cities. Musk said “we’re not suggesting this to the exclusion of other approaches,” but did take a moment to call out flying taxi solutions (like Uber Elevate) right off the bat due to danger and noise.

Earlier in the evening Musk retweeted an LA Metro tweet that said it’s coordinating with The Boring Company on its test and said the two will be “partners” going forward. Much of what Musk discussed about how his concept in-city Loop would work has been answered in concept videos and the company’s FAQ, but he specifically said that the plan is for rides that cost a $1, and carry up to 16 passengers through hundreds of tunnels to those small, parking space-size tunnels located throughout a city.

Excited for @boringcompany partnership with LA Metro https://t.co/hpqXC3yjQ6

ai??i?? Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 18, 2018

The big problem is digging those tunnels to start with, and while part of the session included video of a speedy test run through the tunnel Musk has already dug on SpaceX property, the plan is to pick up the pace. Davis said Musk has challenged his team to match the digging pace of a snail (0.03 MPH), and get up to 1/10th of the average walking speed of a human at about 0.3 MPH — compared to its current top speed of about 0.003 MPH.

Part of what slows things down is the need to stop drilling and reinforce the tunnel, instead of drilling continuously, as well as removing all of that dirt. The company is working on solutions for both of those issues, and Musk again mentioned the possibility of selling bricks and life-size Lego-like blocks.

Test runs in the loop have already hit a couple of hundred miles an hour, and Musk’s plan is for vacuum Hyperloop tubes between cities that enable travel in pressurized carts at up to 300 MPH. That’s compared to 150 MPH in the in-city Loop carts, all without slowing down due to traffic or anything else. The main concern is hitting speeds that are still comfortable for people inside.

If you’d like to experience the G-forces for yourself, the plan is still for a “weird little Disney ride in the middle of LA” once its test tunnel opens to the public, but we’re still not exactly sure when that will happen.

Better video coming soon, but it would look a bit like this: pic.twitter.com/C0iJPi8b4U

ai??i?? Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 9, 2018

Skip forward to see the most boring presentation ever https://t.co/dD730jbggQ

ai??i?? Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 18, 2018


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