Tuesday, 9 Aug, 2022

Elon Musk’s The Boring Company to take on hyperloop project

Elon Musk said Sunday via Twitter that his tunnel-building-for-urban-transport business The Boring Company will attempt to build a high-speed, and..

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Elon Musk said Sunday via Twitter that his tunnel-building-for-urban-transport business The Boring Company will attempt to build a high-speed, and still theoretical, hyperloop in the coming years.

In 2013, Musk put out a white paper that outlined the idea of a transport system that could send passengers and cargo in pods through a low-pressure tube at speed in access of 700 miles per hour. He never took on the project. Instead, Musk shared basic engineering plans and encouraged others to develop the concept. While several companies and researchers have been steadily working on hyperloop for nearly a decade, there is not yet a working example of the system anywhere in the world.

Musk founded The Boring Company in December 2016 on the premise that finding fast and effective ways to dig networks of tunnels for vehicles and high-speed trains would end traffic congestion. The Boring Company has landed some contracts with cities, but nothing that uses hyperloop or high-speed transport. It’s most mature project in Las Vegas uses Tesla vehicles to shuttle people along a 1.7-mile section of underground tunnels at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Last year, the company received initial approval for a special use permit and franchise agreement that will allow the Boring Company to expand its Vegas Loop system to a 29-mile route with 51 stations that would include stops at casinos along the Las Vegas Strip, the city’s football stadium and UNLV. It would eventually reach the McCarran International Airport.

Musk’s Sunday tweet, in which he was responding to another tweet listing cities with the worst traffic in the world, comes less than a week after The Boring Company raised $675 million in a Series C funding round that pushed its valuation to $5.7 billion.

He also claimed hyperloop, like other underground tunnels, will be also immune to surface weather conditions such as hurricanes. However, there is well documented evidence of subways, which are located in underground tunnels, flooding. For instance, the New York subway flooded in 2012 when Hurricane Sandy hit the coast. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority has since installed floodgates in 68 low-lying subway and Port Authority Trans-Hudson) stations in Lower Manhattan.


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