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Date: 10/05/19 07:54
The Boring Company
Author: PacificElectric1961

I admit this is "off topic" but I thought if I included a photo of a train I could sneak in the post on TO! I got a chance last Tuesday to get a tour of Elon Musk's tunnel in Hawthorne. I was part of a group of elected officials and staff from the South Bay.We met at the Boring Company's site on Crenshaw across the street from Space X. The staff was very smart and friendly but kept reminded us not to take photos. :(We got into a Tesla S and drove to the corner of 120th Street and Prairie and pulled in the parking lot of a ratty cabinet shop that the Boring Company had purchased and turned into a workshop. In the parking lot was a large circular elevator we drove onto and it was lowered about 120 feet. We entered to tunnel and the driver punched it. I was sitting in the front seat and saw us hit 97 mph and then top out as 127 mph! Then it was over after 6,000 feet and we drove up a ramp to the Boring Company site.A couple random thoughts....
  • The original tunnel was supposed to have futuristic electric vehicles but they put a Tesla with guide wheels on each site. Since then they've paved the tunnel and put in an electronic guide systems for the car. It was a very smooth ride.
  • The tunnel seemed very narrow, especially at 126 mph. I talked to the engineers later and found out the diameter is 12 feet, about the width of the London tube.
  • The Boring Company is currently building a "people mover" at the Las Vegas convention center. What I found interesting is they're not electrifying the tunnel for trains. They are building small shuttle vehicles (10-12 passengers) that will sit on a Tesla chassis and run automatically. Tesla has no interest in getting into the train business!
  • I get the feeling if the Boring Company's future is advancing tunneling technology. I guess Musk and his team think they can upend 150 years of tunnel construction technology. Of course there is Space X and Tesla!




Date: 10/05/19 08:09
Re: The Boring Company
Author: abyler

The Boring Company is literally just running a tunnel boring machine, a well known mature technology.  There is nothing revolutionary about it.

The primary issue with any of their minature vehices they decide to run in these tunnels at speed is safe braking distance and vehicle spacing.  They will never achieve the throughput necessary to pay for the tunnel with small vehicles.  Its simple math.



Date: 10/05/19 09:23
Re: The Boring Company
Author: coach

All these millenials are really good at blowing tons of $$$ down the drain without having to make a profit.  Tesla is BILLIONS in debt.  Elon loves spending other people's money.



Date: 10/05/19 10:01
Re: The Boring Company
Author: PHall

coach Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> All these millenials are really good at blowing
> tons of $$$ down the drain without having to make
> a profit.  Tesla is BILLIONS in debt.  Elon
> loves spending other people's money.

Tesla may be losing money, but SpaceX sure isn't.



Date: 10/05/19 10:22
Re: The Boring Company
Author: portlander

PHall Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> coach Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > All these millenials are really good at blowing
> > tons of $$$ down the drain without having to
> make
> > a profit.  Tesla is BILLIONS in debt.  Elon
> > loves spending other people's money.
>
> Tesla may be losing money, but SpaceX sure isn't.

Not to mention that Elon isn't even close to being a millenial.



Date: 10/05/19 19:53
Re: The Boring Company
Author: cchan006

Thanks for the report.

Seems the Boring Co. and Elon Musk are going from science fiction to real engineering, and that's good news for them. Putting guideways, and "recycling" Tesla vehicle platform are pragmatic, and should disappoint the "software can change the laws of physics" idiocy that drives the brainless investing from "tech" people.

Removing the need for steering, running vehicles in a more controlled environment (tunnels, and without opposing traffic) is a good way to make "self-driving" technology actually function. Trains already do that, but that's not sexy for "investors" who only know cars and don't understand rail.

I've opined on the Boring Co. in previous threads, and my guesses and opinons won't change. Musk isn't here to "advance" tunneling technology. There are other companies around the world who do that VERY well already. He's trying to advance "alternate" transportation by "modifying" auto travel.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/05/19 20:00 by cchan006.



Date: 10/06/19 08:54
Re: The Boring Company
Author: railstiesballast

I have doubts about how well they have considered "life safety" issues such as passenger evacuation/rescue from disabled vehicles, fire, etc.
Modern subway tunnels have sidewalks and ventilation ducts that won't fit in a 12-foot bore.
However to their credit, they keep the publicity churning for better public transit.



Date: 10/06/19 16:50
Re: The Boring Company
Author: justalurker66

Tesla's car features (the driver assist feature that some owners treat as auto-drive and the new self driving feature where the car comes to you) are problematic. Releasing such features in the wild makes me wonder what about their safety culture. I'm glad they are not in the PTC business.



Date: 10/06/19 17:58
Re: The Boring Company
Author: jtwlunch

I agree on the financial return not being positive.  Started running the numbers on their downtown Chicago to O'Hare proposal and they cannot put enough people per hour throgh their tube to handle the numbers or make a real dent in the CTA.



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