Billionaire ion Mosk's vision of a "completely new transportation system" unveiled on Wednesday night at a spectacular event in Hawthorne, California, was not a reusable rocket like the one he is building at his SpaceX headquarters. Nor is it also an electric car, such as Teslas which is produced at a factory in Fremont, California.
This night, Musk introduced a 1.14-mile test tunnel – a way under 120th Street in Hawthorne – as his other boring company dug up about $ 10 million using a boring boring machine called Godo. (These figures include $ 10 million for tunnel construction, all internal infrastructure, lighting, communications, video, safety, ventilation, and track systems, according to the company.) For Massk, this is just a demonstration of what could be: a network of low-cost tunnels used For transportation, utilities or water and were built with millions of dollars, or even billions less than those created for the metro or trains.
A vision that it now finances. Musk estimates he spent about $ 40 million of his own funding A boring company .
These tunnels, which are less than 12 feet smaller than the subway, are less expensive to build thanks to the company's drilling machines and the head of Musk and Boring. Steve Davis Dealing.
The tunnels – called the Musk three-dimensional network – can act like a giant underground highway with cars entering or exiting strategic points along the road through a ramp, coil or elevator, depending on available space. The main tunnel of the cars, which are positioned via retractable tracking wheels, will allow travel of up to 150 mph. Once the vehicle leaves the main artery, the speeds will be reduced. (The retractable track wheels are important, a new development; Musk said they would originally put the vehicles on Skate, which would travel at high speeds, but abandoned the idea because it was "very complicated".
Mosk said these entry points could take up as little space as two elevator parking spaces, which TechCrunch could see at least with the demonstration tunnel.
"You can weave these plants into the fabric of the city without changing the character of the city," Musk told a news conference.
There are some important warnings for this system. This concept is not currently in the scope of space-holding, although there are many cities and facilities interested. (Davis noted that she gets between 5 and 20 requests or inquires daily from municipalities and utilities).
Only independent electric vehicles will be allowed in the ring, where Boring Company calls the concept. Tesla Model X was used in the demo on Wednesday evening, although Musk insisted at a news conference that "these are not some fenced gardens or something for Teslas only." He has said, several times, that this means to be complementary to other forms of transport, not to exclude other things.
The village will also have dedicated pedestrian and cyclist vehicles that can cost about one dollar, if shared. Vehicles can be run for public transport in a loop and get priority.
The public transport segment is noteworthy, because if the ring exists today, there will be a few vehicles that can be self-contained and electric, except Tesla. While the Tesla Model X was used in Wednesday night's trial games, Musk said he thought smaller electric cars such as Model 3, or the Y model, which were not yet seen, would be better used. And yes, there will be bike racks.
The TechCrunch journey began through the Hawthorne Tunnel near 120th Street and Prairie Street, next to an unmarked building – the Brick Warehouse was set on one side – which was only visible because of the surrounding security. The X model is equipped with retractable wheels, which Musk said would be a aftermarket product that could cost between $ 200 and $ 300.
As soon as the car descends, the test driver slowly accelerates to about 44 mph through the tunnel, back to Crenshaw and 120 th Street. The tunnel, fuzzy with dust from the building, lit with neon-like lighting, threw a bumpy ride at times. Mesc later explained that this was due to some problems with paving. He said the system for the public will be smoother.
The entry point, near the Brick store, provides an important link to Boring's story and vision. Earlier this year, Tech Crunch reported that Misk had begun A company called The Brick Store LLC To produce and sell bricks, according to public documents. The new company, which was Was founded in JulyWill be run by Davis, a former space engineer who also works for the boring company TBC.
Mosk said the plan would use Boring to use the dirt extracted during the drilling process to produce bricks, which would cost $ 0.10 of bricks. These tiles were displayed in the form of a giant watchtower, equipped with a medieval guard.
Boring's next step is to develop the next generation of the drilling machine, the Linear Storm (reference to Robert Frost's poem) and eventually Prufrock, which will provide 15 times the cost savings for current technologies. 15% of the total tunnel cost is dirt removal.
This cheaper tunnel is possible, musk says, through many small but notable innovations. Costs are reduced by doubling the speed of the hole three times and keeping the tunnels to a smaller diameter. But the real key is the ability of the machine to remove and install the booster sectors simultaneously, something the next-generation storm will be able to do.
And this is just the beginning.
"The ring is just a starting point for a very active area," Musk said, referring to the high-speed future mode he first introduced in a white paper several years ago. "The transport cycle will be within cities, and mobility will be intense among them."