Elon Musk opens The Boring Company’s first underground tunnel

Musk hopes to reinvent the LA commute, and his dream is now complete

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Elon Musk’s tunnel under Los Angeles has been somewhat lost in the cacophony of Musk news in 2018. But now, a select group has been admitted into the 1.6 mile tunnel for a short ride.

The tunnel, dug by The Boring Company, was supposed to be opened on 10 December, but was pushed back to 18 December in order to facilitate using Tesla cars to traverse the tunnel. Fittingly, the tunnel runs under the SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne — it certainly completes the “Elon Musk company” trifecta.

Members of the press were selected to attend the 18 December tunnel debut, in which they used autonomous cars to progress through the tunnel. The cars travelled at 49 mph, however Musk asserts the vehicles used for the complete tunnel will travel at 150 mph when the full length of the tunnel is complete. The journey was only around two minutes long, so the “commute” doesn’t exactly leave much time to read the papers.

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Many travellers pointed out the bumpy nature of the tunnel, supposedly due to issues with the paving machine – something hopefully fixed before the tunnel is made commercially accessible. The Boring Company hasn’t announced its 2019 plans, but given the pace of the tunnel’s construction, a fully-functional underground transport system can’t be far off.

The Boring Company, with its plan for a network of transport tunnels under LA, came into existence in 2016 however has had an impressive 2018. A round of funding early on netted the company nearly $113 million (£89 million), although most was from Musk himself. Since then Musk has been hyping the tunnel, as well as his myriad other projects (and setbacks).

Musk claims the tunnel, when open, will offer free transport to all, as well as a way to escape the infamous Los Angeles traffic. Now if he could just create a tunnel alternative to the M32, that’d be perfect.

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