Boring Company has a video showing Tesla’s with autopilot driving at 127 mph in Boring tunnels. They are not using sleds or guide wheels.
This would mean if Boring Company can build the tunnels at the low-cost they are projecting then no other upgrades with rail or other systems will be needed. They will be able to add an underground lane of traffic at the same construction cost of about $5-10 million per mile as widening a highway. However, highways need to buy or gets rights to land on the surface. This can add hundreds of millions of dollars per mile in US cities. Boring Company can also offset the costs by selling lower-cost bricks made out of the dirt they dig out.
Boring Company was recently approved for a one-mile tunnel transportation system in Las Vegas. The Las Vegas System may eventually expand to connect the Las Vegas Convention Center to the Strip.
No more wheel guider/train platform? 127mph in a narrow tunnel just in autopilot?
— Olivier R (@Nepomucene) May 24, 2019
Wanna race? pic.twitter.com/zDNpdsdHaM
— The Boring Company (@boringcompany) May 24, 2019
Boring Company Reducing Tunnel Costs Toward the Cost of Widening a Highway by One Lane
Boring Company reduced the tunnel diameter. The current standard for a one-lane tunnel is approximately 28 feet. By using electric autonomous vehicles with alignment wheels, the diameter can be reduced to less than 14 feet. Reducing the diameter in half reduces tunneling costs by 3-4 times.
They are significantly increase the speed of the Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM). TBMs are super slow. A snail is effectively 14 times faster than a soft-soil TBM. The goal is to defeat the snail in a race (Tunnel 14 times faster). Ways to increase TBM speed:
Increase TBM power. The machine’s power output can be tripled (while coupled with the appropriate upgrades in cooling systems).
Continuously tunnel. When building a tunnel, current soft-soil machines tunnel for 50% of the time and erect tunnel support structures the other 50%. This is inefficient. Existing technology can be modified to support 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.
Go electric. Current tunnel operations often include diesel locomotives. These have been replaced by electric locomotives.
Tunneling R&D. In the United States, there is virtually no investment in tunneling Research and Development (and in many other forms of construction). The construction industry is one of the only sectors in our economy that has not improved its productivity in the last 50 years.
SOURCES- Boring Company, Twitter
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.
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18 thoughts on “Boring Company Uses Tesla With Autopilot for 127 MPH Tunnel Speeds”
I agree that this won’t reduce traffic unless we are talking about making multiple tunnels between destinations and also making custom tunnels that connect far off points (long distance express tunnels).
It works better with a toll road model. The best solution for this that I can come up with is making Semi truck sized tunnels and skateboards and then using cargo tunnels to move semis from the edge of a city to a downtown area so that you can get semis off the road, reduce pollution, and deliver goods during daylight hours.
Long story short I am not bullish on The Boring company it its current form.
Not if you have enough skates or you move them as a convoy, like a train.
And you forget this operates in three dimensions and you can have MORE than one tunnel. So since that is the case, I don’t see what you mean.
The skate idea will never work. Yes, the skate is fast, but the traffic just builds at the entrance waiting to be loaded onto a skate. This idea will not resolve traffic issues, just move traffic jam from one place to another.
Ssbaker305, you see the BS that is Musk. He plays 3 card Monte to distract from what is going on at Tesla. He would make Bernie Madoff proud.
Yes, Tesla’s problems are solely due to the government. I’m a small, Les’s is more, guy when gov is involved. But Tesla’s problems are their own making. Gov on the other hand has been subsidizing tesla billions of $$$. You have it bass ackwards.
It would require full subterranean level 5 autonomous. If you jerked that wheel just a tiny bit you’d find out if you could pull a full loop or not.
Great. Now build those tunnels all over LA and other cities.
Yeah, this gives away the game: “Elizabeth Lopatto, a reporter with the tech publication, the Verge, wrote that Musk’s original plans were very much like a subway. Musk said the tunnel would carry “pods” with 16-20 people. But reporters arrived to find out plans have apparently changed from a public transit system to a private system for rich drivers.”
Maybe Musk moves a few rich Vegas conventioneers. But as a replacement for subways or even buses (the underground buses have apparently been scrapped)? Nah, low volume and high cost (tolls) only. A millionaire’s fantasy ride. That’s what we need…
He’ll run out of clear passage underground long before he gets enough volume to make a dent in L.A. traffic – the original impetus for him to do this – let alone in a real world complex system like the NYC subway. And where are those zipped cars supposed to park on the other end? Without the bus option, there’s still the problem, and expense, of having to park an (expensive) autopiloted car. And, God forbid, something happens to the autopilot! How would rescuers even get to the site of an underground flaming crash? An autopilot Tesla fire truck? Oh wait, trucks won’t fit in the tunnel, so…
unless they’re riding on those skates like we saw before.
May not be that bad. Depends how far apart the stations or emergency access was spread. The traffic behind a wreck would be dead stop but the traffic forward would be clear so depnding how spread access was you could load ahead and roll against flow to the crash to secure then tow out. Rear flow could also be reversed to last access to reroute. Driving backwards would not be a huge feat for the AI.
Smart idea helps sell his cars and at sametime can generate money from competitors electrics with approriate AI like the myriad of toll roads show people will pay to cut the trip to and from work.
The boring company should go public so they can get the government involved. That way they are sure to go broke, just like the government is screwing with tesla.
The failure of the scheme comes from assuming that random cars, with random maintenance states can get all into the single lane tunnels and not break down in the middle, wreaking havoc with the traffic by being very hard to extract from there.
A subway train can go into such tunnels, because the responsibility of keeping them working belongs to the subway company, and they make sure the trains and railways are maintained on a regular schedule.
When they first talked about this, I assumed they were also meaning to make and control the vehicles that go into the tunnels. Kind of making a subway made of small modular wagons.
But after telling these were public tunnels for any random car, the whole idea lost a lot of appeal for me.
Elon should be in the business of designing ghost trains.
Tesla only would really limit its appeal. Electric only would be better. You can’t put ICE’s in to such a confined space.
The problem is that once an accident happens in the tunnel (tire blowout, vehicle fire, bad autopilot decision, etc) then the tunnel is not usable, it is hard for rescue vehicles to reach the wreck, it is impossible for traffic to “go around”, etc.
In summary: this is a neat idea until something goes wrong.
So, does Boring Company plans to do themselves tunnels all around the world? They would need a HUGE lawyers and local legislation team just to go bidding on public contracts all over the planet.
Or would they lease/partner with civil engineering contractors in other countries?
I wonder if they will only allow Teslas on autopilot or can super-duty pickups “rolling coal” also use that special passage.
All fun and games until a tire blows out.
Now if only the Tesla had taken the exit ramp at 127 mph… that would have been glorious.
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