This is how Elon Musk wants to solve LA's "soul destroying" traffic problems.
Elon Musk is on a mission to revolutionize the auto industry in more ways than one. Not only does he want to accelerate the world's transition to sustainable energy but he also wants to solve our “soul destroying” traffic problems after venting his frustration about LA’s notorious congestion on Twitter.
His solution? Build a series of high-speed tunnels under cities where cars ride on automated tracks to their destination. Now, over a year after the concept was first announced, Tesla and the Boring Company has unveiled the first completed test tunnel in LA to preview Elon Musk’s ‘Loop’ transportation system.
Musk revealed the 1.14-mile-long tunnel at a presentation in Hawthorne, California, to fans and journalists, who were offered rides in a Tesla Model X shuttle. The event also included demonstrations of the car elevators that will transport vehicles down to the tunnels.
During demonstrations, a modified Tesla Model X traveled along the tunnel tracks with horizontal wheels that attach to the front wheels. Musk says that adding these wheels during assembly will cost $200 to $300. Construction of the tunnel took around 18 months and cost roughly $10 million.
People at the event who rode in the Model X say the SUV was driven at up to 40 mph before slowing down to 25 mph towards the end of the tunnel. In the future, Musk says the Loop tunnel will let you travel at speeds of up to 150 mph. However, a reporter from The Los Angeles Times complained about the ride being bumpy, which “felt like riding on a dirt road.”
“We kind of ran out of time. The bumpiness will not be there down the road,” Musk responded. “It will be as smooth as glass. This is just a prototype. That’s why it’s just a little rough around the edges.”
As is typical of anything Musk does, the tunnel has received a ton of criticism. Some see it as nothing more than a publicity stunt and a waste of government money that could be better spent on an actual mass transit system, instead of helping a few wealthy car owners escape traffic jams.