Elon Musk Reveals Underground Tunnels In LA Built To Improve Transportation

What started as a joke has turned into a very real 1.14-mile-long experiment that could forever change the rush-hour commute.

Elon Musk speaks at an unveiling event for The Boring Company Hawthorne test tunnel.
Robyn Beck / Getty Images

What started as a joke has turned into a very real 1.14-mile-long experiment that could forever change the rush-hour commute.

On December 18, 2018, reporters and other special guests were invited to the grand reveal of Elon Musk’s first completed and operational underground transportation tunnel. Although this tunnel isn’t going to be ferrying everyday passengers from point A to point B anytime soon, it did demonstrate the power of Musk’s vision for the Boring Company.

As CNN reported, the two-minute ride in a fully autonomous, self-powered Model X vehicle “felt like an amusement park ride.” For the test run, the car hit speeds of 35 mph. In the future, larger vehicles that can carry up to 16 people at a time are expected to travel longer distances at up to 150 mph.

This experimental test run was “bumpy at times,” but most people in the L.A. area would probably accept that — if it meant that they didn’t have to sit in bumper-to-bumper rush-hour traffic on a daily basis. However, bringing Elon Musk’s idea to life on a grander scale has hit several hitches, not the least of which is pressure from neighborhood groups who don’t want a tunnel built under their feet.

Despite setbacks, Musk is in the process of getting contracts for a similar system finalized in Chicago. If all goes according to plan, the Windy City will have its own underground transportation network powered by Model X vehicles. Other areas that have shown some interest include Washington D.C. and Baltimore.

Per TMZ, Elon Musk’s ultimate goal is to create a high-speed tunnel network between Washington D.C. and New York City. The tunner would complete a one-way trip in 29 minutes.

If CBS anchor Gayle King’s reaction is any indication, via Twitter, Musk is going to have to figure out how to make 35 mph seem like a normal traveling speed before he can hope to gain the trust of travellers at 150 mph. As you can see in the video below, King believed the Model X car was going much faster than it actually was. In fact, she was so visibly startled by the experience that she swore on live TV.

The cost of the 1.14-mile tunnel was $10 million. This doesn’t include the Boring Company’s applicable research and development, nor does it take into account the cost of the tunneling machine. Of course, Elon Musk is no stranger to raising large amounts of money in his quest to tackle new technological challenges. As the Inquisitr previously reported, Musk is also currently gathering $500 million to launch his own internet service business.

No timetable has been given to indicate when one of Elon Musk’s transportation tunnels, which originally started as nothing more than a joke about L.A. traffic, will be accessible to the public.