Elon Musks tunnel boring company has finished their first underground tunnel beneath Los Angeles. It’s stated purpose is to reduce the notoriously congested traffic in Californias most populace city.
An elevator system lowers the prospective vehicle down in to a subterranean corridor for transportation along tracks that requires special wheel gear to operate. Once the vehicle is properly fitted it can be shuttled across LA at speeds that far exceed ordinary transportation (150 mph +). This is of course the most appealing part of Musks new tunnel system. By expanding the purview of transportation to encompass a 3 dimensional manifold you can essentially improve the entire infrastructure of Los Angeles. Top that all off with faster travel and you have a new model for transportation with incredible potential.
For example, by allowing vehicles to travel underground people can get to their jobs much quicker, offering up less uncertainty for employer scheduling. With less uncertainty comes more effective business services that would otherwise buckle under traffic congestion. Furthermore, as far as bolstering the local economy is concerned- now that people can travel underground and skip the traffic they will hesitate less when deciding whether or not to go shopping. It is very likely that once municipal professionals catch on to the underlying benefits of a 3 dimensional transportation model that the Boring Company will quickly rival or exceed Musks other intrepid ventures such as Space-X and even Tesla.
With that being said, it’s unfortunate that Musk chose only to allow electric autonomous vehicles passage through his tunnel. Because of this, the pre-stated benefits will probably not begin to materialize until adoption of electric autonomous vehicles becomes more mainstream. On the other hand – LA is definitely the best place to start, as the city is known for it’s more liberal tendencies and along with it – a propensity to be concerned with environment and an increased likelihood to purchase electric vehicles. Another unfortunate drawback is the compulsory requirement for extra wheel tracks that will probably turn some people off. Unfortunately, there really isn’t any other way to transport vehicles at such incredible speeds without risking damage.
Musk assures the public that the wheel tracks are not exclusive to his own companies vehicles. “This is not intended to be some kind of wall garden, any autonomous EV can be fitted with these guided wheels,” he said.
The newly minted demonstration tunnel starts at their headquarters in Hawthorne ending at a private residence he purchased earlier in the year, totaling 1.14 miles long.
“The exit of the tunnel is basically in the backyard of a house,” he said. “The next door neighbor was watching TV when our tunneling machine broke through, and didn’t even stop watching TV, that’s how subtle it was. You won’t see, hear of feel these tunnels being created.”
“This is something I think will work, it is scalable,” he said. “We have a demonstration tunnel here, and we expect to expand to cities all over the world to allow people to spend more time with their friends and family.”