Musk Posts New Video Of The Boring Tunnel

NOV 5 2018 BY DOMENICK YONEY 23

Watch the hole thing below.

The first tunnel from The Boring Company is set to make a debut of sorts on December 10. It’s then, company head Elon Musk says, that they will hold a special event, with free rides for the general public happening the next day. In advance of the opening of the opening (in the ground), Musk has tweeted out a short video (embedded below) giving us an idea of what to expect.

As videos go, and without trying to make a bad pun (no, really), this one is kind of boring. The concrete walls of the tube appear drab and a chunky cable lopes along one side while the other is fitted with a pair of pipes. The ceiling of the relatively small tunnel is obscured by what appears to be some sort of ventilation ducting.

Musk has said he wants Tesla vehicles to bring maximum enjoyment to the driving experience, and we hope he brings that same ethos to tunnel travel. It will be interesting to see whether the walls get painted or special lighting is added to enhance the optical part of the experience ahead of the big day.

According to another tweet from Musk (embedded below), the entire trip through the 6,000-foot excavation should only take minutes, with most of that time spent either either speeding up or slowing down. Top speed within the test tunnel, according to Musk, could be as fast as 155 miles per hour, though it’s unclear whether they will attempt this sort of speed during the event or the next day.

To be clear, this tunnel is not yet a commercial passage that people will be able to use to avoid L.A. traffic. Pending official approval, the first fully-functioning commercial subterranean “loop” will actually be located in Chicago.

If you’re in the L.A. area and planning to attend either the opening event or take a ride that next day, let us know about it in comments (or on the InsideEVs Forum. While we are more interested in surface travel in cars, we kind of dig (not literally) this Boring Company effort as well.

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23 Comments on "Musk Posts New Video Of The Boring Tunnel"

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Big Solar

pretty cool

Will

No. Kind of boring. Same tech since 1863

Ziv

That is the question, really. Can the Boring Company use similar tech but improve it enough to reduce the cost of tunneling by a meaningful amount? No one knows, but if they can do it, Amtrak and metropolitan subways and commuter roads could change in a significant way in the years to come. My money is on Musk to improve the cost per mile of tunnel, but I don’t know that he will improve it enough to really transform the industry.

Tom
His real motivation for Boring is likely to develop the technology (or at least understand the current technology) for purposes of colonizing/terreforming Mars. Similar to SpaceX, the profit from projects pays for the development. The only realistic way at this point to terreform Mars is to use underground tunnels. They provide a ready made radiation shield from cosmic radiation which would be diffficult to deal with on the surface. Additionally creating a breathable atmosphere in a tunnel is straightforward and food can be grown there. All you need is a small nuclear reactor to provide power and/or scavenge the thin atmosphere for the necessary elements and compounds. But in regard to disrupting tunnel digging? The big thing he has discussed that removes cost is reducing the size of the tunnel by a factor of 4 by cutting the radius in half. Only 1/4th off the rock to dig through/remove. If I could pay $50 to get on board in downtown Chicago and make it to O’Hare in 10 minutes, sign me up. As far as developing technology for tunnels, I believe it’s not the tunnel per se, but how they are used that will get shook up. I presume there… Read more »
drpawansharma

I had envisioned just such a thing. Although the costs have already been mentioned in the contract. I just don’t remember but it’s less than what you say.

TomArt

I agree – everything he has done since founding SpaceX has had applicability for practical settlements on other planets. Being underground is going to be a significant aspect of any Moon or Mars installations because of the intense radiation. It would be very heavy (a.k.a., cost-prohibitive) to have completely above-ground habitats with sufficient shielding (either being launched complete, in parts, or in raw materials for manufacturing in-situ). There can be windows made of appropriate material to let in sunlight, but most of the shielding will need to be performed by burying/coating the structures in several inches of native soil.

drpawansharma

I bet he could reduce the tunnelling cost by half and speed by a third. And I am being conservative here. Other fixed costs related to planning approval and real estate costs are a different beast altogether

Rune Winsevik

I’m sure you mean “time” and not “speed” above.

Do Not Read Between The Lines

We really have no idea how boring. The hole* point is that they’re doing R&D in tunnel construction. The end result is going to look like a tunnel.

* Yes 😀

Clive

Wonderful.

It might be less Boring going forward.

BoltUp

“Watch the hole thing below”, I see what you did there :0)

ffbj

Tubular.

Will

Subway 🚇

Anyone have any idea what the length of this tunnel is that the video depicts?

drpawansharma

1.83 Kms

Ming

Given Elon Musk’s “Silicon Valley” approach to safety at his other companies, I would also be interested in hearing about his tunnel evacuation plan if there’s an accident and smoke ventilation plan if there’s a fire. From what I see in the video, I’m not sure it’s safe for the public yet.

Do Not Read Between The Lines

I’m not an expert in determining-peoples-field-of-expertise-from-forum-posts, but I’m going to take a wild stab and say you’re not an expert in tunneling safety, and that Boring has more expertise in tunneling safety.

Of course, you could always ask Boring itself:
https://www.boringcompany.com/faq#block-yui_3_17_2_1_1528984468697_95583

Cypress

That’s one sexy hole.

Do Not Read Between The Lines

It’s a tunnel of love.
(Elon Musk loves tunnels.)

TomArt

What I’d like to know is how it is designed to handle earthquakes, large and small! A tunnel under LA sounds like suicide!

At least the hyperloop proposal had pylons with well-engineered connections to the tubes that enabled movement in the event of an earthquake, improving the ability for the tubes to maintain structural integrity and alignment. And, solar panels along the whole length plus storage for power.

I have never figured out the logic behind applying any sort of underground technology to the regions affected by the San Andreas fault.