Elon Musk's Boring Company Is offering Rides Through Futuristic Tunnels To The Public
Elon Musk is offering complimentary rides in a Tesla through a tunnel as a final test before the tunnel debuts in June. There has been participation from residents in the area, and they are hoping to see how much capacity these tunnels can handle.
There does appear to be a sign-up page, but it said that the event had ended when clicking on it. It is possible that it has now ended just before the holiday weekend.
Overview of the tunnel
There are 1.7 miles of tunnels total. This is a decent system of tunnels considering that it has to fit inside a convention center. However, these tunnels being tested could give some indication to how they will be applied in the real world.
Specifics of the driving experience
Cars are to be restricted to 65 mph in these tunnels, but Elon Musk said that he would like to see that number go up. These tunnels are built in a way that closely mirror real conditions.
How these tunnels could be so beneficial
Many cities have roads that were built one hundred or more years ago, and they can't handle the volume of traffic that is seen nowadays. An underground tunnel system could help alleviate some of that burden. Tesla could also fit their self-driving systems to be able handle these tunnels with precision.
Elon Musk talked about the idea of a Hyperloop a few years ago. This concept involved “bullet” trains that could go over 750mph and could travel thousands of miles in just minutes.
The reality is that these tunnels aren’t just meant for trains. Here is a Tesla speeding through one of the tunnels that was set up in Las Vegas. The driver hits a speed of 116mph going through a narrow tunnel. It isn’t clear what a good speed limit would be. Traffic goes one way inside these tunnels. The driver seen in the video travels about 1.5 miles in 1 minute. Based on listening to the audio, one of the individuals in the car said the Tesla can do 90mph on autopilot in the tunnel.
These tunnels could help drivers evade traffic if they need to get from one side of a city to another. A similar concept to this can actually be found at Snowbird ski resort in Utah. There is a tunnel that goes through the mountain that skiers can go through allowing for easier access to the other side of the mountain. This same concept can be applied to city driving.
Cities already have a lot of infrastructure underground so it might be hard to find space for these tunnels. The construction process would also be time consuming and could close down certain roads. A possible idea is a network of Robotaxis that use the tunnels as well as other routes they are programmed to use. This will open up the roads and help help eliminate a lot of congestion. .
Daniel Cappo reports Tesla developments at Torque News. He has had a passion for cars ever since age five when his grandparents let him drive their old golf cart around their property in Upstate NY. He has attended numerous auto shows, and even got the chance to drive a Ferrari California on the track. Ever since Tesla opened up a dealership at his local mall, he's been an avid follower of their cars and technology. Dan has a B.S. in Public Communication from U Vermont. Follow Daniel on Twitter and LinkedIn for daily Tesla News.