Elon Musk indicates that Boring Company will be able to beat subways on speed and passenger volumes. The NY Subway has an average speed of 17 mph but Boring Company will have speeds of 155 mph. Boring Company will have nine times the speed of the NY subway.
Musk has said a Boring Company an early 18-mile high-speed tunnel would cost ~$1 billion to build. Later tunnels will get cheaper and approach the cost of adding one lane of road at less than $10 million per mile. The Boring company cost could be completely offset with lower cost bricks made from the tunnel dirt.
Avg speed of NY Subway is actually 17mph. TBC loop can run at 155mph with 16 pax autopods passing every second, routing automatically between tunnels to their destination. That’s 57,600/hour/lane & you can build dozens of lanes. Will crush any subway in throughput & convenience.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 4, 2019
SOURCES – Boring company, Elon Musk 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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13 thoughts on “Elon Musk Boring Company Will Have Up To Nine Times the Speed of New York Subway”
No, train speed isn’t so much constrained by safety, as constrained by having to stop at every station. A system allowing “express” trains has an acceptable average speed. Just have multiple rails, or side-spurs to stations.
But actually, speed isn’t what people other than Musk care about. Studies show that mass transit users care more about predictability – they hate waiting around for the next bus/train/dronepod to arrive. And a city planner cares more about throughput. Speed is for people who think in terms of being the driver. No, you aren’t driving. You’re a passenger – read the news ! Send email ! If you’re on a Google-type bus, log in to the Googleplex and get work done !
He must know something the subway rngineers dont. They keep trains moving slowly for safety reasons. How will he speed them up safely?
Do not doubt Musk. He has proven once and again that he delivers.
Real estate development and infrastructure development (including transit networks) increasingly need to go hand-in-hand. The Boring Company should partner with property development companies to integrate its underground transit corridors, thus literally creating a comprehensive solution that includes commuting and transit needs. Just like how newer neighborhoods are built with optical fiber right out to the homes.
I took a look at the Twitter feed, 100s of replies. Basically no one believes Musk’s figures. Curves, wait times, slowing/stopping/accelerating all add G-forces. A single unreachable accident would be catastrophic in the tunnels, perhaps causing dozens of deaths and a conflagration.
Musk should scale up his boring machines so they can cut Subway train sized tunnels, but of course he won’t try that, because he can’t.
Reusing the dirt to make bricks is a good idea though. NYC needs more landfill for its lower Manhattan resiliency plan (the Big ‘U’).
“I can get into a car anywhere though?”
Can you? Which version of the TBC architecture are we talking about? The Las Vegas Convention Center version, or a hypothetical 2035 vision of what the system ultimately could be?
Speed is important, but it’s the endpoints of the system that ultimately dictate the throughput. If you have a piece of OC-768 fiber between two teletypes, your throughput is still 110 baud. I’ll argue that the TBC architecture, when extended to vast networks, or even when its entry and exit stations are built out to take advantage of the speed of the tunnels, will handily outperform a traditional subway. But right now, and for quite a while, the subway system is going to have the superior network of endpoints.
I can explain it to you, but I can’t understand it for you. Musk admitted he has no idea if BC will even work. It just moves traffic jams from one place (current road) to another (tunnel entrance). It won’t work the miracles he claims.
I can get into a car anywhere though? So I’m not following the passenger on and off issue. Yes if you’re feeding from 25mph average speed surface roads you’ll want to have like 5 entrances converge into 1 very fast lane and then split out to 5 exit lanes of again but once again I’m not seeing a problem.
Get in my taxi or rental at the airport, enter a TBC tunnel, exit out 10 miles later, finish 1 mile on side roads and save a lot of time vs the subway?
Seems like there’s a pretty bad case of apples and oranges going on here. Subway average speeds are the “scheduled speed”, i.e., the distance between stops divided by the time from when the train arrives at one station to when it arrives at the next one. IOW, it includes the time for passengers to get off and on.
So saying that TBC tunnels will support 155 mph doesn’t tell you as much as you might think. If the actual speed of a subway is really 30 mph (no clue what it actually is), but you can get people on and off 5x faster than you can get them into cars that will fit in a TBC tunnel, then the average speeds will be a lot closer than it might seem.
So he’s basically advocating a tunneled PRT effectively, which then highly depends on fleet size and orchestration.
Of note, the positively ancient analog signal/safety systems of the New York subway system is definitely holding back the throughput. Whether going all digital could substantially reduce headway there is up for debate though.
I think you’re conflating independent things, most tend to neglect acquiring the necessary skills needed to navigate reality.
“…It started as Hyperloop, morphed into his skates idea, then became self driving car in a tunnel. Looks like he’s back with Pods….”
When he released his ideas on the hyper loop concept to the public, he said he had no plans to peruse implementation. Completely unrelated, he started the boring company to further that technology and perhaps reduce his commute time around town. A few weeks ago, they released a fun video illustrating the prowess of a Tesla and emphasizing how bad traffic and how much time savings that could be gained from the tunnel.
Yes, it’s a tweet and not a contractually obligated plan, just like the Tesla autopilot race video.
He’s a very good huckster, but one with a decent track record of being able to comprehend and navigate reality.
I say it every time the Boring Tunnel hype shows up. It started as Hyperloop, morphed into his skates idea, then became self driving car in a tunnel. Looks like he’s back with Pods. His projections are total BS. Always have been. This is a tweet, not a plan. Because of this new hype I expect some bad Tesla news any day now. Usually he hypes something to throw up a smoke screen for bad Tesla news. Yes, I’m not a fan of Musk. He’s a huckster if there ever was one.
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