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Constantly challenging the norms and raising the stakes in the EV industry, Elon Musk founded The Boring Company (TBC) in December 2016. His newest enterprise aims to create tunnels using its own tunnel boring machines (TBMs) and construct loops for high-speed underground public transportation systems for compatible Autonomous Electric Vehicles (AEVs). Currently, the standard AEVs include the Tesla Model X and Model 3 vehicles.
In the future, it will also accommodate high-occupancy AEVs made from a modified Tesla Model 3 chassis to transport up to 16 passengers. Not only will these loops significantly decrease travel time but will also provide benefits in eliminating traffic noise and pollution, and avoid disrupting communities with the construction of new or wider roads.
Recently, The Boring Company has gained some attention with increased activity developing between Los Angeles and Las Vegas, adding to speculation that the company has started with its tunnel production that will link these two cities. New photos have surfaced showing what looks to be a tunnel boring machine and huge makeshift marquees set up to start construction.
Situated in the desert of Adelanto in California, the sudden appearance of machinery and temporary structures indicates The Boring Company could be starting work on the LA to Las Vegas Hyperloop. According to the Las Vegas Loop website, “Any future expansion would be designed with similar compatible construction infrastructure and autonomous electric vehicles (AEVs), and would provide an express connection between any two stations. Vegas Loop extensions beyond LVCC Loop will operate at speeds of up to 155 mph”.
The projected roadmap of the Vegas Loop shows a possible extension to Los Angeles and with Adelanto being geographically centered between LA and Las Vegas is enough to get tongues wagging on what Elon Musk is up to next.
What could be another clue in that the loop construction is indeed about to start is The Boring Company’s job postings looking for a Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) Operator and TBM mechanic in Adelanto.
The Las Vegas Convention Center Loop (LVCC Loop) is also planned to be completed by January 2021 for people to travel across the LVCC campus efficiently and in a safe, sustainable manner.
The genius billionaire first spoke about the idea of a Hyperloop transportation system in 2013 as an alternative method of travel between cities that are less than about 1500 km (900 miles) apart. The initiative would be focused on building ultra-high-speed transportation via pods traveling through vacuum tubes.
In 2017, SpaceX built a hyperloop test track near Hawthorne, California, and Elon Musk conducted a test with a Tesla-branded Hyperloop pod that managed to reach a top speed of 220 miles per hour. Shortly after the test, Musk said he would try to get the pod to travel over 311 miles per hour, which is half the speed of sound. But that in itself would pose great challenges in preventing the Hyperloop pod from disintegrating into a shredded metal.
Subsequently, Musk hosted Hyperloop competitions between 2016 and 2019 for teams from around the world to build prototype pods, with the Technical University of Munich winning each year so far. Their first pod attained a speed of just over 57 miles per hour and over the years managed to increase it to 288 miles per hour.
Elon Musk continues to raise the bar in the expectations for the EV industry while constantly pushing the boundaries of the imagination when it comes to the endless possibilities of future travel.