Categories
From The Editors Technology

Boring is What He Does! Elon Musk Plans to Build Tunnel to Dodger Stadium

Elon Musk is boring again!

No jibe intended there.

Despite the Tesla turmoil Musk finds himself in the midst of, his desire to keep surging ahead, seemingly, never diminishes.

Well, that’s what his Boring Company’s August 15 announcement, proposing to build an underground tunnel to the Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California, would apparently suggest.

The proposed high-speed, zero-emission, underground public transportation system, connecting Los Feliz, East Hollywood, or Rampart Village neighborhoods to Dodger Stadium, will transport baseball fans and concertgoers – and everybody else who wants to make the trip in just about 4 minutes at an outrageously affordable cost of about a dollar per ride per person.

And, by the way, the company is officially calling it Dugout Loop – kind of fits, doesn’t it?

The company says Dugout Loop is being built in an attempt to address LA’s traffic woes, to some extent.

It is intended to provide an environment-friendly economical public transport option to some 250,000 people who brave the LA traffic every year to get to their favorite game, or concert, happening at the home to the Los Angeles Dodgers – the city’s Major League Baseball franchise.

While that is a just a small percentage of the number of people who visit the stadium each year, the company says it’s a start and should “complement the existing public transportation systems and provide an all-electric and affordable option” to people headed that way.

The Boring Company said:

“Initially, Dugout Loop will be limited to approximately 1,400 people (approximately 2.5% of Stadium capacity) per event.

“Based on City and community feedback, it could be possible to increase ridership per game to 2,800 per game or event (5% of Stadium capacity).

“Between games and events Dugout Loop would transport 250,000 people per year.”

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has welcomed the proposal, saying that the innovative idea “could help ease congestion on our roads and make our most iconic destinations more accessible to everyone.”

There are three possible originating points in the western terminus area – including Vermont/Sunset, Vermont/Santa Monica, and Vermont/Beverly stations – that the company says will be “evaluated in the review process,” before deciding on a winner.

Map of the proposed route
Map of the proposed route

The Boring Company says that the likelihood of the tunnel causing any disruptions in the Metro service is nonexistent, as the western terminus’ proximity to the Red Line is, in fact, being planned to “complement the Metro.”

“Dugout Loop does not have any Metro crossings and its western terminus will be close to the Red Line in order to complement the Metro,” said the Wednesday announcement.

“The Boring Company is coordinating with Metro on a regular basis to ensure project compatibility and utility, and will not begin construction until Metro has fully approved of the plan,” it added.

The 3.6-mile-long single-line tunnel between the stadium and the western terminus will run underneath public right-of-way or land belonging to or leased by The Boring Company, while the eastern terminus on the stadium side will be built on “privately owned property at or near the Dodger Stadium parking lot.”

The construction phase is expected to last for about 12-14 months, during which the company proposes to build the tunnel and two Loop Lifts – one each for the eastern and western terminuses – along with 6 ventilation shafts that would also serve as emergency exit points.

The shafts, which shouldn’t take longer than six weeks to complete, will be located on privately-owned property, alongside the alignment.

Concrete “shelves,” which the company plans to install once the tunnel is complete, will serve as the guideway for the electric skates that are capable of zipping through the tunnel at 125-150 miles per hour, carrying a payload of 8-16 passengers at a time.

Powered by multiple electric motors, the emission-free electric skates are fully stabilized autonomous vehicles, a feature that allows for increased safety as it eliminates the human error quotient and the possibility of a skate veering off-course.

Shelves inside the Dugout Loop tunnel will serve as the guideway for electric shelves
Shelves inside the Dugout Loop tunnel will serve as the guideway for electric shelves

The 14-foot-diameter tunnel will be dug at least two diameter lengths deep, with the top of the tunnel running some 30 feet and the bottom 44 feet below the surface of the ground, and may even go deeper to avoid existing underground infrastructure like utilities, bridge piles, pipelines, and the likes.

The electric skates will collect passengers from the surface level at the Dugout Loop terminuses and sink underground, down a Loop Lift consisting of an elevator or a ramp, to the level from where the 4-minute subterranean trip to and from the Dodgers Stadium will start.

Western terminus configuration
Western terminus configuration
Eastern terminus configuration
Eastern terminus configuration

“We were excited when The Boring Company came to us with this project,” Los Angeles Dodgers’ Chief Financial Officer, Tucker Kain, said in a statement.

“Whether it is flying overhead in an aerial transit system or bypassing traffic through an underground tunnel, we are always looking for innovative ways to make it easier for Dodgers fans to get to a game,” he said, going on to say that the franchise was “committed to working with our neighbors and fans as the project moves forward.”

Here are some more reactions on Twitter

Categories
From The Editors Technology

Musk Claims To Have Verbal Approval for NYC-DC Hyperloop – City Authorities Refute Claim

Tesla and SpaceX supremo, Elon Musk, caused some confusion with a Thursday tweet about receiving verbal approval from government authorities to build an underground Hyperloop system connecting Washington DC to New York, with two stoppages at Baltimore and Philadelphia, respectively.

The tweet claimed that the DC-NYC distance would be covered in a mere 29 minutes. Needless to say, Elon Musk’s side project, “The Boring Company,” would be undertaking the ambitious project – provided all goes well with the mandatory authorizations.

However, the representatives of the four cities concerned informed “Fortune” that no such approval had been given. In fact, there wasn’t even a proper meeting or discussion on the subject.

“Elon Musk has had no contact with Philadelphia officials on this matter. We do not know what he means when he says he received ‘verbal government approval’,” Mike Dunn, deputy communications director at the City of Philadelphia, said to “Fortune,” while Anthony McCarthy, director of communications for the Baltimore mayor’s office informed “Fortune” that the city of Baltimore had not given any approval for the project to Musk or “The Boring Company.”

“Right now, I would characterize any conversations as preliminary and not extensive,” McCarthy said.

Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh has supported .the concept – “I am excited to hear about Elon Musk’s underground Hyperloop connecting New York to Washington, DC through Baltimore,” she said in a statement. “If his plan becomes a reality it has tremendous potential to create new opportunities for Baltimore and transform the way we link to neighboring cities.”

Meanwhile, Eric Phillips, the New York City Press Secretary, said in a tweeted statement: “This is news to City Hall,” following it up later with: “The entirety of what we know about this proposal is what’s in Mr. Musk’s Tweet. That is not how we evaluate projects of any scale.”

The White House said in a statement to the “New York Times” “We have had promising conversations to date, are committed to transformative infrastructure projects and believe our greatest solutions have often come from the ingenuity and drive of the private sector.”

While the White House statement may not have been very forthcoming about the project or its specifics, it certainly points towards the source of Musk’s so-called “verbal approval.”

When pressed for clarification on the Thursday announcement, Musk backpedaled a bit with a follow-up tweet: “Still a lot of work needed to receive formal approval, but am optimistic that will occur rapidly.”

In another tweet, later, Musk urged the people to take the matter up with their local authorities.

“If you want this to happen fast, please let your local & federal elected representatives know. Makes a big difference if they hear from you,” read the tweet.

Fortune claims to have been informed by a Boring Company spokesperson that the project has the nod from “key government decision-makers” without providing details.

Having got held up in a traffic snarl one day in December last year, Musk took to Twitter to vent his frustration – “Traffic is driving me nuts. Am going to build a tunnel boring machine and just start digging…”

At first, it seemed nothing more than the ranting of a man frustrated with the traffic but several subsequent tweets on the subject confirmed, to some extent, the billionaire’s seriousness about his plans of building a Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) to solve traffic woes.

Musk founded “The Boring Company” with the purpose of building an underground network of tunnels beneath cities, starting with Los Angeles, to counter surface traffic congestions.

However, in the current proposal to link the four cities in the Northeast corridor, the tunnels will house the Hyperloop, a technology that, basically, uses levitated pods to go through a low-pressure tube powered by a “custom electric motor.” This mode of transporting people and vehicles can be done at airline speeds.

Back in 2013, Musk had said it would take 7-10 years and cost under $6 billion to build a Hyperloop between LA and San Francisco, a distance of about 400 miles.

According to White House officials, Musk had touched upon the Boring Company idea in a meeting with President Donald Trump in March this year, in addition to bringing up his Mars mission plans.

In April, Musk’s idea of using tunnels to address traffic congestion in LA and for intercity connectivity was lauded by White House National Economic Council Director Gary John.

Categories
From The Editors Technology

Elon Musk Reveals Videos of The Boring Company’s First Tunnel

Elon Musk’s ‘Boring Company’ has begun work on its first tunnel beneath Los Angeles,

Musk on Friday posted several pictures of equipment meant for digging tunnels beneath Los Angeles. The project is one of Musk’s latest ventures, which was inspired by a desire to alleviate “out of control” traffic in Los Angeles.

In a series of posts today, Musk revealed a glimpse at the processes that are bringing the first tunnel to life, in the first stages of a network that will ‘cover all of greater LA.’

‘Warning, this may cause motion sickness or seizures’

He gave a look at the boring machine segments being lowered into the starter tunnel. These are now ‘going through final assembly, according to Musk, and will eventually be ‘a few hundred feet long’

An inside view of the tunnel:

This video shows off the very front of Musk’s tunnel-boring machine, known as the cutterhead.

Cutterhead in operation at standard industry speed. Planning to jack this up by a factor of ten or more.

A post shared by Elon Musk (@elonmusk) on

It’s been just six months since Musk first revealed his radical plan to beat LA’s notorious gridlock – and now, the entry hole, staging area, and starting tunnel for the first Boring Machine, ‘Godot,’ is complete, Musk says

Entry hole, staging area and starting tunnel for Boring Machine 1 (aka Godot) now complete

A post shared by Elon Musk (@elonmusk) on

Categories
From The Editors Technology

Elon Musk Gets His Tunnel-Boring Machine at SpaceX

Elon Musk CEO of both Tesla and SpaceX recently launched yet another startup: the Boring Company.

Elon Musk has been teasing his tunneling project since he first tweeted the idea when he was stuck in Los Angeles traffic.

On Thursday, an all-white tunnel-boring machine appeared outside SpaceX’s Hawthorne headquarters. Sections of a tunnel-boring machine are being worked on in a parking lot along Crenshaw Blvd. across the street. SpaceX employee posted a picture on Instagram, which was later removed from his account.

.

Elon Musk at TED Conference, 2017 – gave the first look at the underground tunnels his new company, The Boring Company, is shooting to develop in the future.

Musk said that they plan to go down to about 50 feet into that hole in the parking lot before starting to dig horizontally in order not to disrupt any gas or sewage line. There, they will be able to experiment with new digging technologies build on the current boring machine.

The cars will remain on a platform called a car “skate” in the tunnel, which will take it through at up to 130 miles per hour. Musk says he’s shooting to have many layers of tunnels.

“There’s no real limit to how many levels of tunnels you can have,” he said. “The deepest mines are much deeper than the tallest buildings are tall.”

“We have a pet snail named Gary,” he said. “Gary is capable of currently going 14 times faster than a tunnel boring machine. We want to beat Gary. He’s not a patient little fellow, that will be a victory. Victory will be beating the snail.”