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Elon Musk holds public information session regarding The Boring Company

By Shawn Knight · 7 replies
May 18, 2018
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  1. Elon Musk on Thursday evening hosted a public “information session” regarding his work with The Boring Company, a side project of sorts that aims to dig tunnels under major cities to help manage “soul-destroying traffic.”

    Musk kicked off the chat session by blasting the flying car movement, citing the potential dangers – someone isn’t going to service their car properly, it’ll drop a hubcap and guillotine someone – and the unforeseen noise their spinning rotors will add to the environment. Like the man or not, he brings up valid points.

    As Musk sees it, roads must go 3D and the only logical way to do that is to go down – underground.

    In theory, you could have hundreds of levels of tunnels (versus something like a highway with a fixed number of lanes) that wouldn’t detract from life above ground (you wouldn’t see them or hear them). They’re also “weatherproof” and according to Musk, way less nerve-wracking than flying cars.

    Perhaps most interesting of all was Musk’s admission that transportation pods could zip up to 16 passengers at a time from point A to point B for just $1 per person. He also revealed that they repurposed Model 3 motors and battery packs to create locomotives to haul dirt out of the tunnels and are making bricks out of the dirt that could be sold for around $0.10 each.

    Those interested in learning more about The Boring Company’s plans should check out the firm’s extensive FAQ and take in Musk’s hour-long information session.

    Permalink to story.

  2. stewi0001

    stewi0001 TS Evangelist Posts: 2,135   +1,553

    However, they are not earthquake or flood proof.
    wiyosaya likes this.
  3. H3llion

    H3llion TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,666   +424

    Nor is a Metro/Subway. With todays technology, this would already be safer than that of metros/subways (the underground for you Englishmen).
    Last edited: May 18, 2018
    DaveBG likes this.
  4. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 5,144   +3,565

    It's all well and good, but if he runs this company like he's running Tesla they may never finish the first tunnel. The boy needs to focus on one thing at a time or get some better VP's working for him ......
  5. GeforcerFX

    GeforcerFX TS Evangelist Posts: 849   +350

    "Tunnels, when designed properly, are known to be one of the safest places to be during an earthquake. From a structural safety standpoint, the tunnel moves uniformly with the ground, in contrast to surface structures. Additionally, a large amount of earthquake damage is caused by falling debris, which does not apply inside tunnels. Some examples:

    1994 Northridge Earthquake: no damage to LA Subway tunnels
    1989 Loma Prieta (Northern California) Earthquake: no damage to tunnels, which were then used to transport rescue personnel
    1985 Mexico City Earthquake: no damage to tunnels, which were then used to transport rescue personnel"

    Flood would be more difficult, if it's a flood prone area the bottom of the tunnel can be used to hold water as it's pumped out. Good pumping solutions would definitely need to be implemented. But NYC's subways seem to handle the massive rains they get from time to time decently.
    H3llion likes this.
  6. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 3,152   +1,411

    Underground has it's own problems... it's WAY more expensive to build a tunnel than to fly through open air. Which also means we'd only have tunnels in between major transportation places. You wouldn't want people driving their own cars through them, or 1 traffic accident could block the whole thing for a long time. Not exactly the way to to avoid soul-crushing traffic.

    All we'd end up doing is expanding or building more subway style mass transportation, which isn't a good idea considering mass transportation is already a money-loser. Even a tunnel under the current freeway system to help with traffic in a big city at rush hour may not be worth it. Experience has always shown that adding lanes to a freeway just increases the people who drive. It's quite a risk to take, and not worth the cost.

    Note - Uber is popular because you can go where you want, when you want. With a tunnel you can only go where the tunnels go. The future will be airborne self-driving pods (without falling hubcaps) that you summon like an Uber and/or have a subscription for the daily commute. And the way drone technology is going, they'll probably say Amazon on the side of them, not Uber.
  7. GeforcerFX

    GeforcerFX TS Evangelist Posts: 849   +350

    Mass transit is not a business it's a service. You lose money on the transport side but the idea is to gain it back in tax revenue by having a larger more successful economy to tax. Your pods idea will never be mainstream mass transit. By the time you build enough of them to be moving over 400 people at any given point in time you have a large fleet, which going by how commercial aircraft have to be maintained and tested means logistical fun and heavy maintenance time and cost. But it doesn't avoid the most serious issue, the FAA will not allow thousands of 2000lbs + vehicles to be flying around above heavily populated areas. Aircraft are routed in specific ways to have the least amount of time over heavily populated areas when possible, with this you can't avoid it. Every accident will be deadly, to either the occupants inside (speed and forces on them are greater than a car crash) or to the population below (dense inner city). Do I see a future with flying vehicle in cities, sure already there they are called Helicopters, do I see smaller more niche aircraft, sure but in smaller numbers. A combination of all these technologies will allow cities in the future to move there larger populations greater distance in less time and using less resources. There is no single golden tech, it will take them all.
    CloudCatcher and senketsu like this.
  8. amghwk

    amghwk TS Guru Posts: 489   +302

    What a company name! Boring. Tsk, tsk.

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