Elon Musk, co-founder and chief executive officer of Tesla, arrives in a modified Tesla Model X electric vehicle on Dec. 18 during the unveiling of The Boring Company Hawthorne test tunnel in Hawthorne, California. (Photo: Robyn Beck-Pool/Getty Images)
Sitting in gridlock traffic every day isn't just harmful for your health; it's also a complete waste of time.
Enter Elon Musk.
In 2016, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX proposed an idea to build tunnel loops, an underground solution that can get electric vehicles to their destinations quickly without adding cars to already congested roads. Now we finally get to see the concept in action in the video below.
The Boring Company Loop system pic.twitter.com/xVpDHzZKXB— The Boring Company (@boringcompany) December 19, 2018
Musk's other business, The Boring Company, has been developing this first tunnel from SpaceX headquarters to a parking garage in Hawthorne, California, as a prototype. This is the first of four planned tunnels. The other three include a tunnel to Dodgers games in Los Angeles, an express loop between downtown Chicago and O'Hare Airport and an East Coast loop from Washington, D.C., to Maryland.
Musk held a preview event, showing off the new system and giving people test rides through the first tunnel in Hawthorne.
The system involves driving your electric car onto a lift that takes you down into the tunnel. Your car uses an attachment on its wheel to lock on the track, and then you take off. Test speeds were around 50 mph during the demonstration, but Musk says vehicles will be able to go upwards of 150 mph.
The Boring Company is also designing in-house vehicles for walk-up pedestrians and bicyclists.
The California tunnel is still in the preliminary stages, but The Boring Company has a long list of explanations for why and how this system could work one day. Their focus is on reducing the cost of creating tunnels so that it becomes a viable alternative.
Musk hopes eventually these tunnel loops will pave the way for his hyperloop project, which would transport passengers in a high-speed capsule in a vacuum tube.
While the not-so-boring demonstration of the first Boring tunnel may just be a prototype, it raises hope that it can help chip away at our commutes — for the sake of our health and the environment.