- Elon Musk this weekend tweeted a video of what he called a "disturbingly long" tunnel his Boring Company has drilled under Los Angeles to accommodate the company’s underground hyperloop.
- The "test tunnel' originates in the southern suburb of Hawthorne, CA, where Boring Company is headquartered, and extends towards downtown L.A. It’s meant to show off a hyperloop system where riders in pods travel up to 150 miles per hour.
- The first two-mile section of the tunnel will be officially unveiled at an opening party on Dec. 10.
Musk has promised that the technology could transform transit, with rides that would take passengers from downtown LA to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in just 8 minutes, and for just $1. He has said the company will build a network of tunnels throughout the city, and recently pitched a 3.6-mile line that would run from downtown to Dodger Stadium, which Musk said could move 1,400 people for a baseball game or event and could be built with no taxpayer dollars.
Boring has also gotten preliminary approval from Chicago for a line between downtown and O’Hare International Airport, and an exploratory permit from Washington, DC for a tunnel to New York City, a very preliminary step to building an East Coast loop. The state of Maryland has also given the company permission to dig about 10 miles of tunnel.
The Hawthorne test track will be the first key step to show the viability of the yet-unproven technology. The project has already hit speed bumps; community groups sued over the city’s decision to exempt the project from environmental reviews (Musk has promised a full environmental report when the project is scaled up). Experts have also questioned the viability of the massive tunnel digging project, especially whether it would disrupt utility infrastructure or whether it could be built affordably.
If built to scale, the hyperloop could be a boon to the traffic-clogged Los Angeles. By running on electric power, the network could also help the city’s air quality problem by taking emitting vehicles off the road. Hyperloop proposals are attracting interest from around the country, including a favorable report to a proposed line in Missouri, so all eyes will be on Musk’s test tunnel when it opens next month.