CNBC takes us for rare glimpse inside the Las Vegas Convention Center loop tunnels. From the looks of it in this latest video update (below), it seems that the entire tunnel system, stations, and related infrastructure is almost complete and only needs a few finishing strokes before public launch.
It took 2 years and $52.5 million to complete the loop under Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC). This is the first commercial tunnel built by Elon Musk’s The Boring Company. Musk’s groundbreaking idea of building narrower tunnels brought the tunneling costs to much affordable levels.
If there is a show going on and there’s a lot of traffic, it can take up to 45 mins to walk from one end of the LVCC to the other, Tesla cars shorten that time to 2 mins using these tunnels.
Mick Ackers from Las Vegas Review Journal was one of the journalists invited yesterday at the Las Vegas Convention Center for a first-look at these newly built tunnels. He posted a few short videos of the LVCC tunnels on his Twitter account.
The Convention Center has three stations and exit points named South, West, and Central as per their location (see infographic below). The top speed of the Teslas running inside the LVCC tunnel is capped at 35-40 mph.
The LVCC tunnel excavation was completed in May last year, and in less than a year later, here we are with the almost finished project.
After the success of this first loop, Las Vegas authorities are interested in expanding the tunnel loop system to the entire city, connecting the airport, downtown, and the stadium as well.
How to use the LVCC Boring Company tunnels
According to Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority CEO Steve Hill, this system works like Uber or Lyft. LVCC has prepared a smartphone app that lets passengers request for a Tesla to pick them up from one of the stations and drop them on their chosen exit (this app is not public yet).
First, you have to take one of the escalators 43 feet down to one of the three stations depending on your location. Then call a Tesla using the LVCC tunnels app and wait for your turn.
When the car arrives, ride in it, enjoy the Vegas style colorful lighting and sound along the way and there you are at the exit in 2 mins. Currently, these Teslas are driven by drivers, in the future they will be self-driving.