Underground system will whisk passengers at speeds of up to 150mph under Las Vegas
Elon Musk has revealed renders of the first commercial station being built under Las Vegas by his tunnel-digging venture, The Boring Company.
The Tesla CEO founded the startup in 2016 as a “hobby company” out of frustration with traffic around his hometown of Los Angeles.
Tunnels dug by The Boring Company aim to offer a radical new option for urban transportation without interfering with existing infrastructure, pinging cars and passenger pods at speeds of up to 155mph along electric skates.
A prototype of the system was first demonstrated in 2018 and the first commercial Loop system is set to open later this year. It will offer passengers a way to make the mile-long journey from one side of the Las Vegas Convention Center to the other in under two minutes.
Mr Musk tweeted a picture of the rendered transportation hub, with the caption, “Coming soon.”
It included several Tesla Model 3’s parked in bays, together with an information board displaying the time and order each electric vehicle will leave.
A poster on the wall of the station riffs off the popular Las Vegas maxim, stating: “What happens here, only happens here.”
More details about the Las Vegas Loop were published in May by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, revealing that three stations are being built to help move thousands of convention attendees around its 200-acre campus.
The $52.5 million (£41m) project is being completed at a rate of 100ft per day, and once completed will have the capacity to transport up to 4,400 passengers per hour.
When it first opens the Convention Center Loop will use a variety of Tesla vehicles staffed with drivers, though eventually it hopes to use completely autonomous shuttles.
“The system has the potential for future expansion and connectivity to resorts on the Strip, Downtown Las Vegas, McCarran International Airport, and beyond,” the Las Vegas authority wrote.
The Boring Company claims the tunnel system can transform the way people travel around cities around the world, and has already made preliminary deals with several US cities.
“A large network of tunnels many levels deep would help alleviate congestion in any city, no matter how large it grew (just keep adding levels),” the company’s website states.
“The key to making this work is increasing tunnelling speed and dropping costs by a factor of 10 or more – this is the goal of The Boring Company.”
The first mile-long prototype tunnel under LA was dug at a cost of $10 million, according to Mr Musk, which he claimed was a significant improvement on the cost of current boring technologies.
Another potential advantage of the excavation process is that earth removed by the tunnel-digging machines can be used to make bricks for building structures.
“In typical tunnelling projects, excavated dirt is shipped offsite to disposal locations,” the firm states on its website. “This process is costly, time-consuming, noisy, and can be environmentally hazardous. The Boring Company has developed technologies to recycle the earth.”
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