Yet Another Boring Backstory

The Boring Company



The Boring Company: Boring Machine Segments

It turns out that ‘Godot’ — Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk’s Boring Company tunneling machine — is simply on temporary lease until the company can build its own electric, automated prototype.

Most likely assumed that The Boring Company didn’t build a colossal tunnel boring machine overnight. We’ve also known for some time that the company’s tunneling process is still nowhere near the speed of Gary the snail. Musk joked during a recent TED talk:

“Victory is beating the snail.”

The Boring Company

Gary the pet snail can dig 14 times faster than current, traditional tunneling machines, and has become the inspiration for ‘Godot’, The Boring Company’s first machine.

Musk has kept the boring news coming, and recently stated that he has received verbal government approval to dig an underground tunnel, which will accommodate a hyperloop that travels from New York to Washington D.C. in under 30 minutes.

According to USA Today, The current process is being performed by a leased machine from a 67-year-old Wisconsin company. The company is Super Excavators, in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin.

The machine, made by Canadian company Lovat, is 14 feet in diameter and several hundred feet in length. Lovat used to be under the umbrella of Caterpillar, but now it’s run by a Chinese company. Musk’s borrowed machine has previously bored holes in San Francisco and Indianapolis. Super Excavators president, Peter Schraufnagel, told USA Today:

“It’s always good to have an innovator looking at a process. We’re excited to see what comes out of this.”

“They pretty much knew what they were looking for. It was the most shovel-ready machine of the size.”

Musk’s plans, which are much further off, include a boring machine that can bore much faster, and without stopping. The idea is that it will be electric, automated, and bore tunnels with a smaller diameter than traditional tunnels. The idea of vehicles on skates and/or the hyperloop would allow for much slimmer tunneling.

Source: USA Today via autoblog

Categories: General, Tesla

Tags: , , , ,

Leave a Reply

14 Comments on "Yet Another Boring Backstory"

newest oldest most voted

Maybe the connection to this company finally has Tesla looking to put in a Supercharger site up the road, in Oshkosh, WI, per their ‘Find Us’ page, for Superchargers!

You know, when you whine, you should be more considerate of the folks in North Dakota, who have no Superchargers. Wisconsin got superchargers before even Minnesota did. Also? Green Bay is building their supercharger on Shawano Ave already, that is plenty close, if, for some reason, Sheboygan doesn’t do it for you.

It’s not like it is safe to tunnel through North Dakota, what with all the shale oil.

I do not understand why Boring Company should build their own machines, Lovat or Herrenknecht are already pretty good at it.

Should not they concentrate on building the tunnels instead??

The Boring company is in it to revolutuonize tunnel boring, just like SpaceX is revolutionizing rocket launches and Tesla revolutionizes road transportations and energy solutions.

Its a natural step for the Boring company to manufacture their own hardware.

Yeah, they need radical improvement of the current boring machine technology. It will be useful to assess the current tech, of course, and to poach talent, but Elon will try to leapfrog past existing companies.

“I do not understand why Boring Company should build their own machines, Lovat or Herrenknecht are already pretty good at it.” Because digging traffic tunnels using current state of the art tunnel boring machines is far too expensive, by at least an order of magnitude, to achieve the sort of vast traffic tunnel system Elon envisions. They are also far too slow at digging those tunnels. As Elon has demonstrated with SpaceX: If you want it done much cheaper, then engineer and build it yourself. Of course, Elon’s success at SpaceX in reducing launch costs by about 5x (with a goal of 10x) is no guarantee he can achieve equal success with The Boring Co., much less the even greater reduction in cost that he would need to make boring traffic tunnels as cost-effective as he wants. Let’s not forget that Elon’s original “Hyperloop Alpha” proposal was for steel tubes elevated on pylons above existing buildings, because that’s much easier and much, much cheaper to build than digging traffic tunnels using current digging methods. Reducing the cost to not much greater than an elevated tubeway… well, that is a formidable obstacle to overcome. Here’s hoping that Elon Musk does achieve… Read more »

Because none of the boring/tunneling machines are worth a damn. Germany made a big one and it is a pig. Lovat’s used to built ok, but esp none are turning into junk as well. Horrible designs, slow approaches and zero innovation in that industry makes it rip to come in with something 1/2 way decent.

BTW, I did some Research on this because I am interested in Geothermal energy esp for HVAC. Current means of doing it is all wrong. I’m waiting to see if Google ppl screw it up or improved it.

What qualifies you to say, “Because none of the boring/tunneling machines are worth a damn.” Are you in the tunneling business? Do you have some clever designs to share with Elon? I’m sure he’s be all ears. I suspect it’s more that you’ve watched a lot of TV and movies and figure it shouldn’t be too tough to dig along at 5-10 mph like they do in the movies, right? After all, it’s just dirt isn’t it?

Eduardo Pelegri-Llopart

Musk et al. have a way with names, don’t they? 🙂

Saw your profile photo and recognized you from BB10 open source days. Not often I randomly recognize a face on the Interwebs! 🙂

“Yet Another Boring Backstory”

Seems to me that the good folks at IEV are having just a little too much fun with that name!

GA drilling company has a solution in testing. Check it out. That is true revolution.

Gary cannot dig. The goal is to have a TBM that can bore faster than a snail can MOVE.

Is it not the geology that is the determining factor? Elon must consult closely with USGS & experts with local knowledge- if a barrier exists [magma intrusion or deep flow, basalt, granite, other ingenious rock] the only answer is blasting.
No TBM I know of can bore thru such dense hard strata…