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Ars takes a first round trip in the length of The Boring Company's test tunnel

Enlarge / A candle at the end of The Boring Company tunnel. The Boring Company HAWTHORNE, CA-On on a breezy Tuesday night over the busy street from SpaceX's headquarters, Elon Musk's Boring Company invited a group of journalists to take a tour through the company's first test tunnel. The test tunnel stretches 1 ,14 miles from SpaceX's former parking lot, under Crenshaw Boulevard, under the SpaceX campus, and finally ends behind a few countless warehouses in Hawthorne, Prairie St. and 102 th St. The riding was hardly a finished product; Assessing the success of The Boring Companys underwater vision would be impossible at this time. What the day's demonstration did, however, was a proof of the concept. Entrance to the tunnel On the other side of the street from SpaceX, journalists launched a ramp to the original opening of The Boring Company's first tunnel. We got into a modified model X-modified because it had shock absorbers attached to the wheels to prevent the vehicle from being too much undesired movement in the tunnel. Then a driver (as Boring Company employees told us we were not talking) drove us to the tunnel mouth, on the raised edges flanked on both sides of the tunnel walls. (We were also strictly allowed to take pictures or videos, but the photos provided below give you a sense of what we saw.) Through the tunnel A view of the end of The Boring Company & # 39; s test tunnel in Hawthorne. Boring Company Boring…

 A light at the end of The Boring Company tunnel.

Enlarge / A candle at the end of The Boring Company tunnel.

The Boring Company

HAWTHORNE, CA-On on a breezy Tuesday night over the busy street from SpaceX’s headquarters, Elon Musk’s Boring Company invited a group of journalists to take a tour through the company’s first test tunnel. The test tunnel stretches 1

,14 miles from SpaceX’s former parking lot, under Crenshaw Boulevard, under the SpaceX campus, and finally ends behind a few countless warehouses in Hawthorne, Prairie St. and 102 th St.

The riding was hardly a finished product; Assessing the success of The Boring Companys underwater vision would be impossible at this time. What the day’s demonstration did, however, was a proof of the concept.

Entrance to the tunnel

On the other side of the street from SpaceX, journalists launched a ramp to the original opening of The Boring Company’s first tunnel. We got into a modified model X-modified because it had shock absorbers attached to the wheels to prevent the vehicle from being too much undesired movement in the tunnel. Then a driver (as Boring Company employees told us we were not talking) drove us to the tunnel mouth, on the raised edges flanked on both sides of the tunnel walls.

(We were also strictly allowed to take pictures or videos, but the photos provided below give you a sense of what we saw.)

Through the tunnel

We stopped at the tunnel entrance until a string of LED lights along the zenith of the tunnel became green. Then model X began to flow along, gathering speed to a huge 45 … 45 mph. The edges along the side of the tunnel were unfinished and quite uneven, and the tunnel contained curves at the beginning and at the end did not seem to fit the types of 100+ mph travels that Elon Musk promised in subsequent tunnels. (Musk later told reporters that the unfinished state of the edges was due to the company expiring before the current event).

The size of the tunnel length was white painted with a series of blue LED lights that illuminated the road. When we were quite far into the tunnel it became impossible to see an entrance or exit at either end, which was mildly scary (but I’m not very claustrophobic so it was a feeling that I found it easy to get rid of ). It was also a time for me to notice that the tunnel is extremely narrow. It is obviously of design. Part of Muscle’s pitch is that if internal combustion engines are banned in the tunnel, robust airflow is not so much of anxiety, so tunnels can be smaller in diameter. This, theoretically, saves money in boring, junk removal and tunnelfood materials. (For the specific persons out there, the tunnel is 12 meters in diameter, with an outer diameter of 14 meters. The concrete tunnel walls are made to a foot thick.)

Exit the tunnel

We finally reached a tunnel tunnel where green LEDs let us know we were near the exit. The car left the tunnel on an elevator floor in a narrow pit where we were slowly raised to street level, in a small parking lot next to some residential buildings. The driver turned to a city street and navigated back to the Boring Company medal tent.

Attempt to “solve traffic”

After our tunnel ride, the group converged in a room outside the SpaceX lobby for a presentation by Elon Musk and Boring Company President Steve Davis in the current state. Musk, who made the most of the conversation, was soft and joking and spent a longer time than answering questions after his first presentation.

Much of Musk’s material retrieved old chats: “Everyone wants to go out of 3D structures [buildings] in the 2D system [streets] at the same time,” said Musk. CEO repeated that many tunnels could be built to match Tunnels are also immune to bad weather and several ten-meter underground sounds are undetectable from the surface. “Israel always tries to detect when Hammas digs tunnels and they can not,” Musk offered himself as evidence. “

Musk also added that tunnels were a more sustainable way of integrating transport to cities. “Unlike motorways or railways, you do not share communities. While I like to train a lot, especially high-speed trains, you can not have anyone living near the train tracks. “

” And of course, Lair’s “Muskuspannade, ended its list of reasons for building tunnels.” If you want a good camp, it must be underground. Lair’s plural. “When no one laughed, CEO:” Wipe room here, “induce some giggles.

But first reimagine drilling

Although Musk said many times in the evening that he wants to “solve traffic”, Boring Company’s primary goal was to improve the speed and cost of tunnel excavation over modern dull machines. said Musk, the fastest tunnels are built with a mile every three to six months at a cost of up to $ 1 billion per mile in some heavily populated cities. Instead, The Boring Company hopes to improve its speed by automating the construction of the concrete tunnel segments so that it is simultaneously boring.

The rest of the improvement in dull speed comes from increasing the power of the dull machine with three times while additionally, the drill bit improves to accommodate the extra work. Together with automated segment construction, this should offer a 15-fold improvement in drill speed, says Musk.

Musk said that a lot of cost reductions would follow from speed improvements. “If you have the same crew and that the crew can work 15 times faster, you have lowered your labor costs,” says Musk.

In addition, The Boring Company makes its concrete in place with dirt excavated from the tunnel itself, which saves on cost. As mentioned above, the smaller diameter of the Boring Company tunnel also contributes to lowering the cost.

Boring Company has long said that its test tunnel in Hawthorne is exploratory in nature and has not incorporated many improvements that Musk considers possible in dull. Outside of the Hawthorne tunnel today, a “highly modified” second-generation boring machine called Line Storm rested alongside Godot, the unmodified dull machine that the company used to dig the test tunnel. After Line Storm, Musk said The Boring Company would build its first dull machine from the ground, which will be called Prufrock.

Forget the love

Boring Company has long said that a special electric skate would drive vehicles and passengers more than 100 miles per hour through its subways. But today Musk said that the only vehicles that would enter their tunnels in the future would be autonomous, electric vehicles with deployable track wheels. (The vehicles did not necessarily have to be Tesla vehicles, but they meant Musk, but they must be autonomous and electric, and they must have track wheels attached either in production or with an aftermarket of $ 200 to $ 300.)

For them Without its own autonomous and electric vehicles, the system would have a number of circulating public transport vehicles that riders could order at a station for a small fee. Musk said that a common vehicle race could go as low as $ 1, but he did not develop too much at the expense or profit of the privately owned Boring Company. The CEO said that The Boring Company would run its own systems where appropriate, or could sell a system to a municipality and let the buyer run the system.

Musk said at the end of the night that he had contributed somewhere along the lines of $ 40 million of his private money to The Boring Company and the construction of the Hawthorne test tunnel costs the company around $ 10 million. He estimated that an 18-mile two-way loop like the company’s mission to build in Chicago will run somewhere around $ 1 billion, while a less complete system could go below $ 100 million.

CEO has said The Boring Company is also entertaining offers from cities to build tunnels for utility and water pipelines, enabling municipal services to address problems in the lines without digging up the street. President Steve Davis noted that The Boring Company field more than five and fewer than 20 weekly requests from tools that are interested in cheap tunnels for the housing industry.

 Cross section of different tunnels like The Boring Company could build.

Enlarge / Cross section of different tunnels that The Boring Company can build.

The Boring Company

In the great planning of things, the tunnel tunnel opening was a small step for The Boring Company. But Musk’s ambitions are as usual greater than currently exist. Musk said the systems that he plans to build now are stepping stones to a Baltimore-DC Hyperloop (a Hyperloop is a theoretical system that Musk has described as driving at 700 mph, on a levitating, low-pressure track). In response to a journalist question about Mars, Musk said that his dull equipment could certainly be used to create pressurized, underground housing for people on the planet. Although the first test run through the tunnel felt quite rough, it clearly has a long way to go.

Listing image by The Boring Company

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