Now that NHTSA has joined the NTSB in probing the "secret sauce" inside Tesla's unexpectedly inflammable batteries after the latest deadly Model S crash in which two teenagers were burned to death, trapped inside the electric vehicle, Elon Musk needed another distraction.
He delivered it late on Thursday when the CEO released a video of the first completed tunnel that makes up the "Loop" electric transit network under Los Angeles, being currently built by Musk's The Boring Company.
As reported previously, the Boring Company had already completed a 305-feet (100 meters) tunnel with an entrance in SpaceX’s parking lot in Hawthorne last year when they also started working on extending the tunnel by 2 miles in Hawthorne toward the Los Angeles International Airport, according to a proposal with the municipality. With last nith's update, it looks like they have now completed that tunnel.
This is what Musk wrote on Instagram:
First Boring Company tunnel under LA almost done! Pending final regulatory approvals, we will be offering free rides to the public in a few months.
Super huge thanks to everyone that helped with this project. Strong support from public, elected officials & regulators is critical to success.
As mentioned in prior posts, once fully operational (demo system rides will be free), the system will always give priority to pods for pedestrians & cyclists for less than the cost of a bus ticket.
The post included a time-lapse video of movement through the Loop tunnel:
The tunnel, once completed, is expected to serve as the proof of concept for the company’s vision of a network of tunnels under Los Angeles. As Elektrek adds, the Boring Company unveiled a concept map of the planned Los Angeles tunnel network last year and they are already working to receive approval from regulators for other tunnels in the network.
The good news: unlike Tesla, there is no risk of the Boring Company suspending operations any time soon if it can't obtain funding – Elon Musk just injected $100MM of his own money in the company:
The Los Angeles project is also only one of several projects that the Boring Company is working on now that it is flush with cash. They recently raised $112.5 million, which came mostly from Musk himself.
In addition to his project in LA, Musk’s latest startup is also working on a mix of ‘loop’ and hyperloop project on the east coast and a loop a mass transit system in Chicago. On Friday, the CEO said that another hyperloop project could get started between Los Angeles and San Francisco as soon as next year (taxpayer subsidies contingent):
As a reminder, the LA-SF route was the original hyperloop route proposed by Musk as an example for his white paper on the hyperloop technology to transport people inside pods propelled at high speeds inside low-pressure tubes; it remains unclear just how the hyperloop will offset for the risk of a major faultline-breaching earthquake.
Musk plans to use Tesla’s electric powertrain technology for the propulsion system with Elektrek reporting that Tesla plans to sell $400,000 worth of ‘electric motors and batteries’ to the startup in order to build the prototypes.