Not only does Musk see it as the future of urban commuting, but he also believes that it will serve as the stepping stone for his other project.
A couple of days ago, the city of Las Vegas gave Elon Musk’s Boring Company the green light to begin the expansion of their underground highway system called “The Loop.” Musk and his team have ambitious plans for The Loop. Not only does Musk see it as the future of urban commuting, but he also believes that it will serve as the stepping stone for his other project, Hyperloop.
Despite being called “The Loop,” it isn’t a physical loop. The tunnels aren’t shaped in some large ring following the contour of urban centers. Instead, The Loop is a series of tunnels that run all over a city. Usually, it means having a primary route that connects dense urban areas with smaller routes pointing towards less populated neighborhoods. It’s quite similar to a subway system that you would find in a city like New York.
A map of The Boring Company’s initial tunnel system in Los Angeles
Unlike a subway system, however, there are no actual trains inside of these loops. Instead, passengers are transported by what The Boring Company is calling AEVs (Autonomous Electric Vehicles). AEVs are currently exclusively Tesla vehicles, specifically the S, 3, and X model types. However, The Boring Company hopes to have custom Teslas with more spacious interiors. The cars run off of the same autonomous technology found in current Tesla vehicles and will not require human interaction to operate.
Scattered along the tunnels will be a myriad of stations. The Boring Company currently plans to support three types of stations: a surface station, a subsurface station, and an open-air station. The first two types of stations are pretty self-explanatory, but we really should be excited about the open-air station.
A rendering of an open-air station
The Boring Company claims that open-air stations only need to take up the space of two parking spots. They hope that they can leverage these compact stations to allow for a large number of stops within an urban center. In Las Vegas, multiple casinos have already placed bids to have these open-air stations built in front of their properties. This means that we can provide access to more stops at more locations than with conventional subway stations.
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