Elon Musk’s vision of traveling at high speeds in underground tunnels is inching closer to reality as the outspoken executive has announced The Boring Company’s test tunnel in Hawthorne, California will open on December 10th.
The tunnel starts in the SpaceX parking lot and then turns west under 120th Street. It then continues straight for approximately 2 miles (3.2 km). While the tunnel isn’t very long, it was created for the “research and development of The Boring Company’s tunneling and public transportation systems.”
Following the opening event, the tunnel will begin offering free rides to the public on December 11th. A lot of details remain unknown, but The Boring Company’s ultimate goal is to build a high-speed underground public transportation system known as the Loop. While the company originally said the Loop would consist of “autonomous electric skates” traveling at speeds between 125-150 mph (201-241 km/h), Musk suggested the top speed has been increased to 155 mph (250 km/h).
Opening event that night & free rides for the public next day
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 22, 2018
The Loop is slated to use skates which can transport vehicles or between 8-16 passengers. The skates would be lowered and raised using a Loop Lift at predetermined stops.
While the test tunnel is just a proof of concept, The Boring Company has plans for a Chicago Express Loop that would provide service between downtown Chicago and O’Hare Airport. Trips would only take 12 minutes and company noted this is three to four times faster than existing transportation options. The Boring Company has also said that fares will be “less than half the typical price of taxi/ride-share services.”
The Boring Company has also proposed an East Coast Loop which would consist of twin tunnels which connect Baltimore, Maryland to Washington DC. The company also proposed a Dugout Loop which would transport Los Angeles residents from the Los Feliz, East Hollywood or Rampart Village neighborhoods to Dodger Stadium in less than four minutes.