Tesla & SpaceX CEO and founder of The Boring Company Elon Musk has shared what’s coming in the tunneling business in the near future. He said that The Boring Company will attempt to build a working tunnel Hyperloop in the next few years.
The official account of The Boring Company on Twitter just posted an update that testing for this Hyperloop hyper-speed transportation system in tunnels is going to start as soon as this year (2022).
“In the coming years, Boring Co will attempt to build a working Hyperloop,” Elon Musk stated, “from a known physics standpoint, this is the fastest possible way of getting from one city center to another for distances less than ~2000 miles. Starship is faster for longer journeys,” he added.
This is not the first time that Elon Musk has said that The Boring Company will attempt to run Hyperloop pods inside the tunnels, he first said this back in 2017 at TED 2017 when his newly found tunneling company was just starting.
Because these Hyperloop tunnels are going to be significantly below the surface of the Earth, the weather conditions outside would rarely affect the transportation operations underground. For example, in a hurricane situation, these autonomous electric pods can evacuate people at 600+ miles per hour speeds.
It takes around 4 hours from Washington DC to New York via road (~225 miles) and a Hyperloop running inside a tunnel can save passengers about 3 and a half hours.
“Hyperloop testing at full-scale begins later this year,” The Boring Company released this statement via Twitter today. However, it is not clear what the company means by “full-scale” here, perhaps the 1.1 miles (1.8 km) test tunnel built at SpaceX HQ in Hawthorne, California will be used for testing Hyperloop electric pods.
With the successful completion and execution of the tunnel loop at the Las Vegas Convention Center, The Boring Company is all set to take new projects with much more confidence.
Just last week, The Boring Company announced that it has completed a Series C funding round of $675 million bringing the valuation of the company to $5.675 billion. This highlights the confidence that investors have shown in what The Boring Company is set to achieve in the near future.
Building cost-effective tunnels and using them to solve the traffic congestion in metropolitan cities was a great idea by Elon Musk that has started showing results after years of engineering innovation efforts.
Elon Musk’s Boring Company achieved low-cost tunneling by reducing the diameter of the tunnels to 12 feet and standardizing this size for all of the projects the company undertakes. This standardization allows the same tunnel boring machine (TBM) or multiple machines with the same specifications to undertake new projects without the need of making radical changes to the TBMs.
The TBM surfacing from the Resorts World on the Las Vegas loop in the video above is the Prufrock-1 and the latest tunnel boring machine is the updated variant named Prufrock-2.
Prufrock-2 is currently commissioned at the Bastrop, Austin, Texas project where The Boring Company is building a massive 80,000-square-foot manufacturing facility. Easy for Elon Musk to move between the new Tesla HQ in Austin, TX, and The Boring Company manufacturing plant.