Musk Says Boring Company Will Prioritize Pedestrian, Cyclist Travel

The Boring Company

MAR 12 2018 BY STEVEN LOVEDAY 23

Tesla and The Boring Company CEO Elon Musk has clarified the primary use for the future high-speed tunnel system that’s currently being ever-slowly constructed.

Musk Tweeted that the tunnels will prioritize pedestrians and cyclists over cars. However, this is not to say that people will be walking, jogging, or bicycling through the subterranean structures, but instead, will be quickly transported in bus-like pods, which we saw in the initial Boring Company teaser video.

WATCH THIS: Musk Debuts The “Boring Company”, Watch Tesla’s EVs Travel Underground

As soon as Musk made the original idea public, many naysayers said it would never happen. This makes sense when you consider the plethora of obstacles like the time it takes to bore such tunnels – not to mention the approval process – added to the fact that underground parking would be impossible, and cars with one or two passengers just isn’t a good solution to the current problem.

Well, once again, Musk plans to prove naysayers wrong. He’s already received approval and is digging in multiple locations. The concept of a high-speed, multi-passenger, underground transport system is a bit more sensible, as well as feasible.

The fact that the CEO is changing his tune comes as no surprise. Musk is a forward-thinking visionary, and it seems more often than not he tends to make announcements before he’s had an opportunity to consider timelines and feasibility. However, in the end, he generally delivers (and sometimes over-delivers), albeit it considerably behind schedule and with modifications.

Only time will tell how these plans pan out and if there are more adaptations in the future.

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23 Comments on "Musk Says Boring Company Will Prioritize Pedestrian, Cyclist Travel"

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SJC

That is good, the city does not need more cars.

Will

Sounds like a subway to me

Vexar

Subways are places where people can loiter for indefinite periods of time, they have toilets, advertising, and they have heating and lighting bills, plus significant labor expenses. When you shrink occupant areas to these micro-bus compartments, those costs reduce significantly. Think of it this way: a bus stop can be a sign on a post, and is very inexpensive. A subway terminal is massive, complex, and requires a lot of folks to make transfers; this system is more intelligent and in between in terms of terminal costs. Mass transit is headed towards obsolescence because it lacks agility, convenience, and cost-effective strategies.

Just as oil resists EVs, you will see labor unions resisting this technology.

Ben

A subway station might cost more to build, but it can handle many more passengers than these pod stops. I do not know how you run your subway stations. Where i live some subway stations are like shopping centers, creating absurdely high revenue from shops paying by far the highest prices per m2. People walking by or waiting is a chance, not a burden.

heisenberghtfromouterspace

Obviously a subway station is a very different concept than a pod stop.

few subway stations vs. lots of pod stops.

both concepts have their pros and cons.

the point that you have to wait at a subway station can be seen positive and negative depending on what you want to achieve. That’s all.

Funnily I like to hang around at airports, train stations etc. but that’s definitely not the case for most people. It’s fun if you are not in a hurry. Most people are in a hurry, so I guess they will be happy to have a pod stop close to their location that is connected to a pod stop close to their destination. The more pod stops the lower the need to walk there.

The biggest drawback of the concept is that it will be so convienient that obesity will become an even bigger problem. But hey… It will become easier to the fitness centers…

That’s evolution. It took millions of years to develop the ability to walk. Now we choose to use it on a treadmill. Our generation and the two following will be last not merged to the species of tech. We should enjoy it. Don’t worry… be happy.

Steven

Subways have toilets? Really?

I’m guessing you’ve never ride SEPTA in Philadelphia, where the subways only smell like toilets.

Ben

Yaaaay… Elon invented the subway… I guess that is plan B now, as at first it was clearly meant for cars at first and this did not work/cars on cars were too stupid

Timmy

What kind of subways have you been riding on?

Paul

Saving face…suspect goals will be modified several more times before real paying passengers are reality. Don’t get me wrong, EM’s visionary goals are laudible, but the details are hastily contemplated.

Chris O

Some sort of mini metro sounds like…If it’s easier to construct/more cost effective and more convenient to use than traditional metro’s it might be a good alternative.

The cars on cars approach never did make much sense to me. Maybe in the future when cars are electric and autonomous the Boring Company could construct low cost tunnels that can be smaller diameter and need no exhaust fume extraction systems for those cars to use directly.

Rick Rowling

How will it go 150mph if it has thousands of stops?

heisenberghtfromouterspace

Ludicrous Lane Change.

Gasper

I think that the logic is that a smaller pod will stop only at stops where it needs to, just like elevator.

A small pod will not carry many people, so there won’t be many stops necessary, but in order to make it work there will have to be many of these small pods to digest all the people traffic.

Rick Rowling

When accelerating under constant power, it takes a lot of distance to reach high speeds. For example, if it takes 9 seconds to go from to 0 to 60mph, it would take about 0.9 miles to reach 125mph. Then, you’d need a similar distance to slow down. (If you accelerate much harder, passengers would need to buckle up and secure their belongings, unlike how they’re shown in the video.)

(Doing a kinetic energy and power calculation, terminal speed would scale with the square root of time. After integrating and doing a substitution, distance would scale with the cube of the terminal speed. This ignores friction and air resistance, which would increase the distances involved.)

Steven

How many stops does Amtrak have nationwide?

Rick Rowling

Pretty sure he was saying thousands of stops in a single metro area, given that it’s called an “urban loop system” and compared to a subway.

Pushmi-Pullyu

“Musk Tweeted that the tunnels will prioritize pedestrians and cyclists over cars.”

That is very definitely not what his original Boring Co. concept video shows. That shows mostly single automobiles being carried along, with only the occasional “mini-bus”. It also showed the elevators which carry the sleds to street level and down again, servicing mostly individual automobiles, not mini-buses.

As far a bicyclists, I don’t recall seeing a single one in the concept video.

Now, if Elon is altering the concept to make it more of a mass transportation system, rather than the very low density VIP transport system shown in his concept video, that’s all to the good.

But I still think it’s one of the most impractical ideas for transportation I’ve ever seen anyone take seriously. The construction cost would be insanely high, and the throughput much too low to justify that cost.

Paul

+1.

heisenberghtfromouterspace

But tunnels are so cool!

Keep boring!

Steven

Maybe he considers the passengers on the mini-buses to be pedestrians?

After all, how do they get to the stations, they walk.

Alan Drake

The Boring Company is just reinventing (and most important) rebranding Tunnel Boring Machines (see Gotthard Base Tunnel 58 km plus 20 & 10 km tunnels to create flat straight path between Zurich and Milan for 300 trainss Per day, 150 mph for passenger, 62 & 100 mph freight).

Elon must assume that people cannot walk, but they enjoy stopping every few blocks like a bus.

Light Metro (example Copenhagen, Panama City) has already been invented. Smaller shorter trains, stations every km, automated.

Ocean Railroader

The closed real life thing the Boring Company and it’s tunnels can be compared to are the Chicago Tunnel System.

The Chicago Tunnel system was a 60 mile system of freight tunnels running under Chicago on a two foot wide track gauge.

If Tesla’s pods don’t work out the boring company’s tunnel network could be reworked to move freight for Amazon under the city streets and maybe passenger cars.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicago_Tunnel_Company

Will

2 and 3 trains in New York go 60mph on the express tracks.