After two years of planning, planning, and digging, Tesla has finally completed a giant underground tunnel at its Texas Gigafactory, and it's purpose is pretty freaking fantastic.

According to Electrek, the electric automaker plans to use its new tunnel to ship fresh off-the-line Cybertrucks underneath a nearby highway to its new vehicle staging area. And the kicker? The trucks reportedly won't even need a driver to get there.

Get Fully Charged

Tesla's Texas Expansion

Tesla has come a long way from building its production lines inside of temporary tents. Gigafactory Texas is the latest example of its push to rapidly expand its manufacturing capabilities, and rightfully so, given its ambitious production goals. The automaker previously said that it planned to build its next-generation vehicle platform on the Texas production line, meaning its expansions could be gearing up for what's to come.

The Boring Company announced on Monday that its tunnel boring machine, Prufrock 3, had finally erupted at Giga Texas after first being spotted on-site in January. It would appear that it completed its journey on or before June 8, as a drone operator noticed the TBM while surveying the Austin factory over the weekend.

A separate drone operator captured Prufrock beginning its descent on April 4, meaning it took around four days to complete the approximate half-mile journey underneath nearby Pickle Parkway. The Boring Company says that Prufrock-3 is designed to exceed 1/10th of human walking speed, which is around one mile of tunneling per week.

 

The tunnel connects Tesla's new southern factory expansion to its staging area across the highway. Sources familiar with the tunnel told Electrek that the tunnel would be used purely as a funnel to move Cybertrucks from the end of the production line to the staging area. However, those sources say the tunnel was in the works before Tesla had these final Cybertruck plans in mind.

Tesla began the permitting phase of its "Colorado River Connector Tunnel" plan in June 2022. At the time, it was unclear what Tesla's plans were, and two underpasses were already built beneath the highway at the northern and southernmost tips of the factory. We now know that the goal is a method that will allow Tesla to transport trucks more efficiently.

The total cost of the tunnel isn't clear. However, Tesla disclosed that it paid The Boring Company $200,000 in 2023 and $1 million through February 2024, according to Tech Crunch. This has drawn some criticism towards Musk, as it isn't the first example of Tesla utilizing the services of its CEO's other companies.

Get the best news, reviews, columns, and more delivered straight to your inbox.
For more information, read our
Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

I have to admit, the solution itself is pretty slick. With Tesla shipping its cars through a tight tunnel over a short distance, à la Vegas Loop-style, the automaker could save a lot of time and resources getting its vehicles to the staging area before they ship them to buyers across the country.

But the real meat here is that Tesla plans to do this task autonomously. If it can pull that feat off, I'll be impressed.

Got a tip for us? Email: tips@insideevs.com