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Elon Musk reveals Boring Company new mass transit solution: A Tesla model X in a one-lane-wide tunnel

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image.png.ca2536bf39472e2fba2a98e2e98f5515.png

 

[Image originally sourced from AP, found through this opinion piece - Warning, potentially NSFW language]

 

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Boring Company has unveiled an implementation of their "The Loop" project on Tuesday night (Note: This is not related to the "Hyperloop" idea that Elon Musk has theorized about publicly). The public event allowed for reporters to take a ride through the new "mass transit" solution, which unfortunately does not actually meet the specifications that Elon Musk actually put forward publicly:

 

Quote

Back when the concept was first announced, Musk promised that the Loop would utilize fully autonomous 16-passenger vehicles gliding along at speeds of 150 miles per hour. But the system that was demonstrated last night featured just regular Tesla cars driven manually on an underground one-mile track. And at an underwhelming speed of just 35-50 miles per hour.

 

Even disregarding the failure to meet their announced expectations, reporters did not have good things to say about the experience:

 

Quote

Laura J. Nelson at the Los Angeles Times:

The trip through the tunnel took about two minutes, illuminated by the car’s headlights and a strip of blue neon lights tacked to the ceiling. The Model X rolled on two molded concrete shelves along the wall, which were so uneven in places that it felt like riding on a dirt road.

 

And, even if the system worked perfectly, and as previously announced, the idea as a whole seems to be flawed. Experts in the mass transit field have called on Elon Musk to provide any sort of evidence that this inefficient project could actually become a better solution than existing public transit:

 

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Dear @elonmusk! Metro line 3 in Budapest has a train per every 150 sec in peak hours, capacity is 28200 ppl per hour. To provide this capacity with 5-seat cars, you would need 3 Teslas in every 2 seconds (94 cars/min). How is this is an innovation and not a scam?

 

Elon Musk has responded to criticism, stating that the project could potentially achieve a throughput of 100,000 people per hour (though they have no plans to), without giving any details of how this could possibly happen:

 

Quote

If all vehicles were densely seated buses, throughput in excess of 100,000 people per hour per lane is possible, but better to offer a range of vehicles & let people decide what makes them happy

 

The prevailing public opinion of this project is that it serves no purpose when mass transit (buses, subways, trains, etc) already exist and are more efficient than the current state of "The Loop" by multiple orders of magnitude.

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A project in development is not better than existing technologies?! Color me shocked. It cost 10million though only, so it was really cheap. Give it time. Deniers of Electric vehicles said tesla would go bankrupt every year of their existence. 

Also, to correct you op, the max speed was 150mph afaik as mentioned by elon in this test track. 

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19 minutes ago, kuhnerdm said:

it serves no purpose

It serves a purpose that is for sure! Keeping Elon in the news, with whatever spin he wants you to believe. This one is however quite interesting, with my half ass read, because why would I bother reading the entire article fully and completely. Gord Downie RIP, where was I going, oh yeaaa. Ah I forget, but the point is just keeping Tesla in the news, keeping up the appearance that Elon has these great visions and that he atleast puts his money where his mouth is and attempts something! Elon and his idea's, actually throwing money at it. Who else does that?

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9 minutes ago, Nicnac said:

srsly tho all that tesla, spaceX and hyperloop hate is getting old.

So are all the promises Musk makes that he can't keep.

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Perfectly reasonable imo to restrict expenditure on unncecessary projects when your company is under significant financial strain. 

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It's a stupid idea. We already have subways that work. Maybe we don't have them in my country, but when I was in Prague, you could board a subway train like every 3 minutes. If you missed one, it was like moments away for another one. And trains accept loads of people at once. How would cars make a better alternative lol?

 

I'm not an Elon hater, far from it. But dude, just stick with one idea that works. Tesla by itself is a great product. No need to mess it up with stupid ideas just to keep the PR steamroller going. Hyperloop is a stupid idea. So is this underground Tesla thing. SpaceX on the other hand isn't. Stick with those.

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9 minutes ago, RejZoR said:

It's a stupid idea. We already have subways that work. Maybe we don't have them in my country, but when I was in Prague, you could board a subway train like every 3 minutes. If you missed one, it was like moments away for another one. And trains accept loads of people at once. How would cars make a better alternative lol?

 

I mean it's pretty obvious that this is gonna connect the rich 'burbs around LA and the like so rich people can drive their Tesla directly into the city center without having to share the road with f*cking plebs 

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2 minutes ago, Nicnac said:

ph shit does he owe you money?

Maybe.

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If they made it so it works really well with autopilot (which should be really easy), it would be much faster.  IMO they would have to open it to other electric cars or else it would be quite stupid.

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It is funny how they call it a scam. Like the guy saw a problem and thought of a solution and is actually working towards solving it. No it isn't ready yet but the Boring Company is progressing really quickly, especially when compared to how long it takes to build a highway/subway what have you. Not only do they need to dig the tunnels but they are creating a whole new method of mass transit. That is no small feat.

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10 minutes ago, WhisperingKnickers said:

they are creating a whole new method of mass transit

No, they're not. They're creating an impromtu subway that uses cars and buses.

Come Bloody Angel

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Something is wrong with this world.

 

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The blood is on your hands

Why did you come to this world?

 

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The blood is on your hands.

 

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Honestly, the article misses the point entirely.  This showed that the boring company was already doing well at…boring.  The fact that they could've/should've had the Tesla drive autonomously via some line in the road as a demo is just a missed PR opportunity for the public, but still not the people who care about The Boring Company as something they would invest in.  Quite the opposite, they've already shown the principals they wanted to with The Boring Company to be sound, and are planning to take that even further in their next iteration of the process and equipment.

 

What you do with the tunnels, and how, is an entirely separate question, and can easily get a future answer of "self driving electric cars only" just like we do today with the HOV lanes for other specific types of vehicles.  That would allow much faster speeds, etc once everything starts to fall into place, without any other requirements.  As for the "sleds", I think they'll be based off of the Tesla semi-truck platform, which would then allow for any normal vehicle to hop on and there to be plenty of power to carry it.  So, perhaps that just needs to wait until the showcase of the next tunnel.

 

Saying the road was rough as a major con to the boring project is being stupid and petty of any journalist that claims to be science/tech focused, since that's not at all the point of any of this, even if it was annoying, as that's simply a road surface.

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1 hour ago, kuhnerdm said:

And at an underwhelming speed of just 35-50 miles per hour.

This is much faster than the <10mph speed of rush hour traffic. The idea of this is to turn the road system into a 3D route, allowing for many lanes above, below, and beside each other. I've played enough Cities:Skylines to know how useful underground roads are. The main problem is the cost to create these tunnels.

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1 hour ago, gabrielcarvfer said:

Things that really bugged me out: where are the electric skates? How do you make the speed consistent depending on the cars? If you're working with cars, how do you get people out of there if it breaks?

This is a test track. They didn't want to make the skate yet, they made it simple for testing purposes. They do have examples of the loop with skates on them. They've shown videos of those as well. 

If you would have bothered watching the video presentation (25ish minutes long), this tunnel was dug with the 1st gen TBM, it is rough around the edges and can get better than this. Much better. They tested with much higher speeds with the car, in auto pilot mode of course. If the car is electric, it will be allowed to go in the tunnel with no sled, otherwise, a sled is required. 

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1 hour ago, poochyena said:

This is much faster than the <10mph speed of rush hour traffic. The idea of this is to turn the road system into a 3D route, allowing for many lanes above, below, and beside each other. I've played enough Cities:Skylines to know how useful underground roads are. The main problem is the cost to create these tunnels.

 

1 hour ago, poochyena said:
2 hours ago, kuhnerdm said:

And at an underwhelming speed of just 35-50 miles per hour.

This is much faster than the <10mph speed of rush hour traffic. The idea of this is to turn the road system into a 3D route, allowing for many lanes above, below, and beside each other. I've played enough Cities:Skylines to know how useful underground roads are. The main problem is the cost to create these tunnels.

They can, but didn't with the reporters, go at 150mph.

Source: 

 

https://youtu.be/F0vkv-XclUg?t=286

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1 hour ago, VanayadGaming said:

 

They can, but didn't with the reporters, go at 150mph.

Source: 

 

https://youtu.be/F0vkv-XclUg?t=286

Because it was one mile long. The idea was for reporters to get a look at the tunnel, you’d have to accelerate much faster than an X can, then immediately start braking, not really an enjoyable experience when reporters had to take notes along the trip.

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If they changed these tunnels into fast lanes for buses it would be a pretty big deal. I have only been to LA once but I can tell you that the traffic was an absolute nightmare. My coworkers had said it was bad but that didn't prepare me for the parking lot they call a freeway. Anything at this point should help. It should also be noted that these freeways have 6 lanes yet still are at complete stand still. 

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As a public transport fan, this announcement makes me laugh.  It's either lacking all the serious information or Elon has run out of ideas.

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I still don't see how this is soo revolutionary when we had guided bus systems all around the world for ages: 

 

04x393.jpg

 

Its basically a bus where the steering is linked to wheels touching the vertical guard rails on the side. The pic was taken some time in the 90's in my hometown.

 

do see the charm in having personal mobility transformed to "mass transportation" on specific "roads" similar to manually driving to the highway and then have everyone on Autopilot autonomously doing 70 mph without any congestion issues. But on an single-lane underground track.. It simply feels like to much effort for the benefits.

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