Featured Image Source: The Boring Company
The CEO of Tesla and SpaceX Elon Musk, is mostly known for his over-the-moon dreams of developing a Starship to colonize Mars, but he also has down-to-Earth ambitions. Musk founded The Boring Company to solve the problem of "soul-destroying traffic" in large populated cities. He envisions developing a zero-emission underground transportation system, known as Loop and Hyperloop, that would be capable of transporting people as well as cars at very high speeds. The network of tunnels would transport autonomous vehicles on electric tracks. The Boring Company has developed machinery to enable rapid digging. Musk described the machines: "Godot, which is the name of the first machine, is a conventional tunnel boring machine… So going from Godot to Line-Storm, Line-Storm is a highly modified boring machine, but it’s essentially a hybrid between a conventional boring machine and Prufrock, which is the fully Boring Company-designed machine. So Prufrock, that will be quite a radical change. Prufrock will be about ten times, aspirationally 15 times faster than current boring machines. I think very likely ten times."
Prufrock is alive pic.twitter.com/VH2YDAw4rb— The Boring Company (@boringcompany) February 23, 2020
The first project that is currently active, is the development of a 2-mile tunnel transportation Loop system under Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC). The $52.5 million project, will be comprised of a Loop system with two 1-mile long tunnels adjacent to each other, that will connect the New Exhibit Hall building to the South and North/Central Hall. Last month on February 14, the company celebrated the break-through of digging to the end of their first 4,475-foot tunnel.
Source: The Boring Company
This week on March 3, The Boring Company initiated construction of the second tunnel, they started digging into a 40-foot pit with a Boring machine, near the LVCC on Tuesday. Once underground, the machine will dig a second parallel tunnel to develop the transportation Loop system. When completed, the tunnel will have a diameter of 12-feet and be a mile long. A machine can dig through 100 feet of dirt in a single day.
Images Source: KMCannonPhoto/ Company preparing Boring machinery for construction work on March 3, 2020.
The Loop transportation system will use autonomous electric vehicles, also known as AEV. These futuristic-looking vehicles are composed of a modified Tesla Model 3 chassis to transport up to 16 passengers with both sitting and standing room. AEV's will transport passengers underground at high-speeds of up to 155 miles per hour. Typical walk time between the New Exhibit Hall building and the South and North/Central Hall at the Las Vegas Convention Center can take up to 15 minutes. The same trip across the center's 200-acre campus on board the underground Loop vehicles would take approximately 1 minute. According to officials, the tunnel will be capable of transporting 4,400 people per hour. The transportation system will include three passenger stations where people can hitch a ride, all connecting the convention center’s 3.2 million square-foot space with the West Hall that is currently under construction. Two out of the three stations will be above the ground, built at the two endpoints of the system with a underground station beneath a parking lot near the Central and North halls. The third one will be a 170-feet long underground station, with a height of about 35-feet and width of 80-feet. City officials expect the project to be completed by January 2021.
About the Author
Evelyn J. Arevalo joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover news as a Space Journalist and SpaceX Starbase Texas Correspondent. Evelyn is specialized in rocketry and space exploration. The main topics she covers are SpaceX and NASA.