Elon Musk and the Boring Company has completed most of phase 1 of a 2.7-mile proof-of-process tunnel through Los Angeles.
The first section of the Hawthorne tunnel, including O’Leary Station, will be revealed by December 10, 2018.
Tunnels projects currently cost as much as $1 billion per mile. Elon Musk wants to make a massive tunnel network. He wants to reduce tunneling costs by a factor of more than 10.
Boring Company has started work on an 18-mile tunnel in Chicago from downtown to the airport. Successfully completing the airport tunnel will make the tunneling company worth as much as $16 billion. This valuation will be before any full speed hyperloop implementation. If Boring Company succeeds in lowering the cost of tunneling by ten to one hundred times then they will enable high-speed transportation to be used inside and between cities. This would not only mean capturing most of the existing tunnel and infrastructure projects but increasing the tunneling projects by 100 times.
Existing highway and rail projects could shift to mostly tunnel projects. If tunnel projects were over ten times cheaper and faster, then global demand for ten thousand miles of tunnel every year is possible. The electric skates are based upon Tesla Model X technology. There would also be demand for thousands of electric skates.
Tesla is currently worth about $60 billion and if it sells 2 million cars per year it could be worth $200 to 400 billion. SpaceX is dominating space launch and could expand with global internet satellite services and total reusable launches. SpaceX could go from about $30 billion in value today to $200 to $1 trillion in value.
Boring Company that enables vastly improved public transportation could be worth multiple trillions.
The current standard for a one-lane tunnel is approximately 28 feet wide. Vehicles on a stabilized electric skate can use tunnels that are less than 14 feet wide. Tunnels with half the diameter reduce tunneling costs by 3-4 times.
Elon is trying increase the speed and power of the Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM).
TBMs are super slow. A snail is effectively 14 times faster than a soft-soil TBM. Elon wants to tunnel over 14 times faster.
The machine’s power output can be tripled. They will upgrade the cooling systems.
Current soft-soil machines tunnel for 50% of the time and erect tunnel support structures the other 50%. Elon will modify the technology for continuous tunneling activity.
Automate the TBM. While smaller diameter tunneling machines are automated, larger ones currently require multiple human operators. By automating the larger TBMs, both safety and efficiency are increased.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 3, 2018
Current projects and proposed projects
The Boring Company has been selected by the Chicago Infrastructure Trust (CIT), on behalf of the City of Chicago, to enter into exclusive negotiations to design, build, finance, operate and maintain an O’Hare Express service. The Chicago Express Loop will provide fast and convenient transportation between O’Hare Airport (Terminals 1-3) and Block 37 in downtown Chicago.
The Boring Company is proposing a project on the East Coast to build Loop, a high-speed underground public transportation system. The DC-Maryland Loop would consist of the construction of a set of parallel, twin underground tunnels. The twin tunnels would run in parallel for approximately 35 miles from downtown DC to downtown Baltimore, beneath New York Avenue and then the Baltimore-Washington Parkway.
Loop is transportation at 125 to 150 mph
Loop is a high-speed underground public transportation system in which passengers are transported on autonomous electric skates traveling at 125-150 miles per hour. Electric skates will carry between 8 and 16 passengers (mass transit), or a single passenger vehicle.
Loop is used for shorter routes when there is no technical need to eliminate air friction. Hyperloop draws a vacuum inside the tube to eliminate air friction.
Hyperloop is 600+ mph
Hyperloop is an ultra high-speed underground public transportation system in which passengers are transported on autonomous electric pods traveling at 600+ miles per hour in a pressurized cabin. Similar to Loop, Hyperloop pods will transport between 8 and 16 passengers (mass transit), or a single passenger vehicle.
An electric skate is a platform on wheels with multiple electric motors. The electric skate allows narrow tunnels to be used.
They will safer and will be fully stabilized autonomous vehicles.
The self-driving skate will move traffic and goods at 125 – 150 miles per hour in cities.
They will move people (mass transit), goods and cars.
Electric skates are zero-emission vehicles.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
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