Elon Musk is continuing to make progress on his tunnel boring project in Los Angeles.
The serial entrepreneurs latest venture, The Boring Company, is digging a tunnel in the SpaceX parking lot with the eventual goal of extending it to Los Angeles International Airport. The tunnel system would enable vehicles to travel via a futuristic car skate, which could reach up to 130 mph, underground, Musk has said.
Musk on Wednesday provided a first glimpse of the car skate in action. The skate will first transport cars underground before shooting them through the tunnel:
Here’s how the skate would work once the cars are transported underground:
The skate could also transport pedestrians by carrying them on a minibus:
The Boring Company was able to complete the first segment of the LA tunnel so quickly because it doesn’t need permits to dig on SpaceX’s property.
In fact, Musk has been working with Hawthorne city officials for over a year about building the tunnel, which was originally conceived as a way to get SpaceX employees across from the parking lot to the building safely.
The Tesla and SpaceX CEO has acknowledged that getting approval to extend the tunnel network beyond the SpaceX property line is more challenging.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, however, has said he is interested in using the tunnel to support a rail connection between LAX and Union Station, a main transit hub that connects Los Angeles to distant suburbs.
Hawthorne Mayor Alex Vargas on Friday visited The Boring Company’s tunnel site.
The Boring Company is pursuing other tunnelling projects outside of Los Angeles.
Musk said on Friday that he received “verbal government approval” on the federal level to build a tunnel between New York and Washington DC. The tunnel would support a Hyperloop, a high-speed transit system that’s still in the early stages of testing.
New York and Philadelphia city officials say they have yet to speak with Musk or The Boring Company about the massive project.
Musk is also in “preliminary talks” with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel about digging a tunnel that would connect downtown Chicago with O’Hare International Airport.
Either way, Musk will need more than preliminary talks to commence any of these projects. The Boring Company will face the arduous task of securing city and state permits.
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