- The Boring Company offered rides through its Las Vegas Convention Center Loop this week.
- The rides were designed to test the capacity of the tunnels.
- Videos of the event represent the first real peek into Elon Musk’s futuristic transportation plans.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
The Boring Company began offering rides in Teslas through its tunnel system in Las Vegas this week.
Elon Musk’s company provided the complimentary rides through the tunnels as a final test before the system officially debuts in June.
The Las Vegas Convention Center loop is a three-station transport system with 3km of tunnels.
Las Vegas residents were encouraged to sign up for the tunnel rides last week. The goal was to test the traffic capacity the tunnels could handle, according to The Boring Company’s sign-up page.
Videos and pictures of the event have popped up online as people shared their first experience riding through Musk’s futuristic transportation system. It is the first true glimpse of The Boring Company’s work in action with public passengers since the tunnels were opened to the press in April.
The test drives dropped the riders off between stations and most testers went for anywhere between seven to 12 rides, according to The Verge.
Overall, the experience is toned down from Musk’s original vision, which involved autonomous vehicles that could be summoned via an app and rides through the tunnels at 241km per hour.
Test riders at the Las Vegas Loop did not use an app, but merely walked up to available Teslas. The cars were driven by drivers through the tunnels at limited speeds with most videos showing a maximum speed of 64km per hour, though one video appears to show a Tesla hitting a top speed of 187km per hour in one of the tunnels.
-A Boring Revolution (@BoringPrufrock) May 25, 2021
The goal of The Boring Company’s $52.5 million project is to turn a 45-minute walk into a two-minute trip, but testers pointed to inefficiency in the system as they waited for cars to arrive at the stations, and cars became backed up in the tight underground spaces between tunnel roads.
The tunnel system is meant to shuttle up to 4,400 passengers per hour, but documents obtained by TechCrunch in October show that the $52.5 million loop may only be able to accommodate 1,200 people due to fire regulations.
The Las Vegas Loop is one of many projects that Musk’s company has been working on. The company has already expressed interest in building tunnels in several other major cities, including Miami and Fort Lauderdale. In February, Musk offered to build a tunnel under Miami for about $30 million, and the city’s mayor told Insider in May that he expected initial planning paperwork to be ready in about three months.
However, several of The Boring Company’s plans have also stalled. In April, the group removed any mention of its plans to build transit tunnels in Los Angeles and Washington D.C. from its website after the projects were met with several hurdles, including environmental regulations.