Musk creates tunnel underground where cars 'walk on rails' at 240 km per hour
- Dec 21, 2018
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Imagine getting in with your car in an elevator, going down a few feet below the surface, and circling an underground tunnel at 150 miles per hour. Tesla's founder and chief executive, Elon Musk, wants to make that possible and end up with congestion in big cities. For that, presented on Tuesday in Los Angeles (California) a prototype underground tunnel four meters wide for cars.
Behind this project is The Boring Company, a company that Musk owns and invested $ 10 million ($ 38 million) in drilling. The entrepreneur chose a white Tesla X to debut the first stretch of test tunnel. This stretch, which stretches nearly two kilometers, was built just under the premises of the company Space X, also founded by Musk, in Hawthorne - a city located in Los Angeles County.
The vehicle adapts to the tunnel rails because it was equipped with special wheels that prevent it from clashing with the walls. Musk said in his Twitter account that the device added to the wheels of the vehicle "turns a car into a train guided by rails." The necessary parts would cost from 200 to 300 dollars (770 to 1,160 reais) and can be installed after the purchase of the vehicle.
Although Musk hopes that in the future the cars could reach 240 kilometers per hour in the tunnel, at Tuesday's test the car did not exceed 7 kilometers per hour. Some journalists were able to make the journey. "The tunnel, foggy with building dust and neon-like lighting, offered a ride full of ups and downs. Musk explained later that this was because they had some problems with the pavement and that a system to the public would be much smoother, "says a journalist at TechCrunch. A CNN official says that because he was in such a narrow space he felt that they were moving at a greater speed: "It looked like a ride in an amusement park."
Musk proposed the development of a tunnel system "that can be expanded and improved unlimited": "It's like a three-dimensional freeway system under the surface." Tesla cars will be compatible with this transportation system. Even though Musk has stated that it is not "a walled garden and something only for Tesla," the motor vehicle website Diario Motor explains that this project "requires important technical requirements in the car and mainly limits the number of vehicles who can use the tunnels of The Boring Company. "
Only electric and autonomous cars will be able to use them. But Musk says tunnels will also have priority vehicles reserved for pedestrians and cyclists. A trip on this type of public transport can cost around a dollar (4 reais), as speculated the founder of Tesla.
It's a tunnel network built for millions of dollars less than those built for underground trains, as TechCrunch explains: "Costs are reduced by triple the drilling speed and keeping the tunnels at a smaller width." For Musk, the presentation of this prototype is simply a demonstration of what could be done. This project proves once again that the founder of Tesla intends to revolutionize the world of transport. "This tunnel will serve to move within the cities while the Hyperloop will serve to transport between them," he said.