Elon Musk envisions tunnels deep in the ground to solve ‘soul-destroying traffic’ – but now he needs your help.

The billionaire is hosting a competition through The Boring Company that challenges the public to dig a 98-foot deep tunnel with a circular opening of 19.7 inches.

According to The Boring Company’s site, the main objective of the contest is to dig faster than a snail, which is 14 times faster than its own machine.

Three winners are set to be chosen in spring 2021 for fastest to complete the tunnel, along with one that has a driving surface that a Tesla remote controlled car can drive through.

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Elon Musk envisions tunnels deep in the ground to solve 'soul-destroying traffic' ¿ but now he needs your help. The billionaire is hosting a competition through The Boring Company that challenges the public to dig a 98-foot deep tunnel with a circular opening of 19.7 inches

Elon Musk envisions tunnels deep in the ground to solve ‘soul-destroying traffic’ – but now he needs your help. The billionaire is hosting a competition through The Boring Company that challenges the public to dig a 98-foot deep tunnel with a circular opening of 19.7 inches

‘The Boring Company’s goal is to build the tunnel infrastructure necessary to enable fast, safe, and comfortable transportation, including Loop and Hyperloop,’ reads the firm’s website.

‘To feasibly build a large network of tunnels, one must first rapidly innovate to increase tunneling speed and reduce tunneling costs.’

‘This competition challenges teams to come up with tunneling solutions and answer the question, ‘Can you beat the snail?’

The Boring Company uses the Tunnel Boring Machine to dig the tunnels, but notes a snail ‘is effectively 14 times faster,’ which is why it wants a quicker solution.

According to The Boring Company's site, the main objective of the contest is to dig faster than a snail, which is 14 times faster than its own machine (pictured)

According to The Boring Company’s site, the main objective of the contest is to dig faster than a snail, which is 14 times faster than its own machine (pictured)

The competition is open to everyone around the world, who have an opportunity to design, build, and race their own tunneling solution – but Musk does not give details what the three winners will receive.

Musk founded The Boring Company in 2016 due to his experience with the never-ending, bumper-to-bumper traffic in Los Angeles, California.

‘It’s a pain in the a**,’ Musk said regarding public transportation in a 2017 interview.

‘That’s why everyone doesn’t like it. And there’s like a bunch of random strangers, one of who might be a serial killer, OK, great. And so that’s why people like individualized transport, that goes where you want, when you want.’

On Twitter in 2019, Musk gave more details about his plans for future underground tunnels – for cars, saying: ‘These would be road tunnels for zero emissions vehicles only — no toxic fumes is the key.

‘Really, just an underground road, but limited to EVs (from all auto companies). This is not in place of other solutions, eg light rail, but supplemental to them.’

A year prior, The Boring Company showed reporters a new test tunnel in California, but Las Vegas is Boring’s first paying customer.

Three winners are set to be chosen in spring 2021 for fastest to complete the tunnel, along with one that has a driving surface that a Tesla remote controlled car can drive through.

Three winners are set to be chosen in spring 2021 for fastest to complete the tunnel, along with one that has a driving surface that a Tesla remote controlled car can drive through.

Musk founded The Boring Company in 2016 due to his experience with the never-ending, bumper-to-bumper traffic in Los Angeles, California. Pictured are plans for a tunnel under Las Vegas, Nevada

Musk founded The Boring Company in 2016 due to his experience with the never-ending, bumper-to-bumper traffic in Los Angeles, California. Pictured are plans for a tunnel under Las Vegas, Nevada

The cost of the tunnel, originally estimated to be as low as $35 million, has since risen to $52.5 million, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Musk has also advocated for a futuristic underground tunnel system for trains, called the Hyperloop, which would allow passenger capsules on Tesla-built chassis to move through low-pressure tubes at high speeds.

He aspires eventually to build such a system linking Washington and New York along the busy US Northeast corridor; he has also proposed projects for Chicago and Los Angeles.

The billionaire hopes Boring’s people-moving technology will help revolutionize urban transit in an ever more crowded world.

He says the idea came to him as he sat in growing frustration in his car, stuck in a traffic jam between his pricey villa in Bel Air, California and the SpaceX offices in Hawthorne, south of Los Angeles.

Musk also envisions thousands of autonomous electric vehicles eventually moving millions of people underground at speeds up to 155 miles per hour -far higher than the moderate 35 mph speeds planned for the short Las Vegas link.

However, just as his vision for self-driving cars and colonies on Mars, the dream of underground roadway systems has also had its delays.

In October 2018, Boring said it planned to have the first commercial Hyperloop could be in operation as soon as 2019.

And a tunnel was set to be operational under Las Vegas this year.

WHAT IS ELON MUSK’S ‘BORING’ PLAN?

When Elon Musk first announced his plans to bore a tunnel to his SpaceX offices in Los Angeles, it was hard to know if he was simply venting his frustrations about being stuck in traffic.

‘Traffic is driving me nuts. Am going to build a tunnel boring machine and just start digging…’, he tweeted in December of 2016. 

He ended his rant on the social media site with: ‘I am actually going to do this’. 

The billionaire's tunnel-digging firm 'The Boring Company' has presented its plans to build a 6.5-mile (10.5 km) shaft under Culver City, California, at a council meeting. Pictured is an image shared by Musk in October of the firm's test tunnel in Los Angeles

The billionaire’s tunnel-digging firm ‘The Boring Company’ has presented its plans to build a 6.5-mile (10.5 km) shaft under Culver City, California, at a council meeting. Pictured is an image shared by Musk in October of the firm’s test tunnel in Los Angeles

The billionaire first tweeted a picture of his firm’s boring machine back in February 2017 with the caption ‘Minecraft’ – a reference to the popular video game in which players dig large tunnel networks for resources.   

On Monday, January 22, 2018, the Boring Company presented plans to build the 6.5-mile (10.5 km) shaft under Culver City, California, at a council meeting.

According to the plans, the privately-funded tunnel would carry cars on ‘electric skates’ at 150 miles per hour (240 kph) to help with LA’s ‘soul-destroying’ congestion.

The proposed route goes through West Los Angeles passing underneath Sepulveda Boulevard through Culver City.

The tunnel could also make Hyperloop adoption viable. 

Hyperloop is a proposed method of travel that would transport people at over 600 miles per hour (965.6 kilometers per hour) between distant locations.

Musk's proposed first tunnel will run from LAX to Culver City, then to Santa Monica, and end in Westwood. Musk claims the tunnel trip will take five minutes, compared to 45 minutes driving in normal LA traffic

Musk’s proposed first tunnel will run from LAX to Culver City, then to Santa Monica, and end in Westwood. Musk claims the tunnel trip will take five minutes, compared to 45 minutes driving in normal LA traffic

It was unveiled by Elon Musk in 2013, who at the time said it could take passengers the 380 miles (610km) from LA to San Francisco in 30 minutes – half the time it takes a plane.

It is essentially a long tube that has had the air removed to create a vacuum.

The tube is suspended off the ground to protect against weather and earthquakes.

In August of 2017, Elon Musk took to social media to share progress on his traffic-beating tunnel beneath Los Angeles, revealing it was big enough to fit a Tesla Model S

In August of 2017, Elon Musk took to social media to share progress on his traffic-beating tunnel beneath Los Angeles, revealing it was big enough to fit a Tesla Model S

Here’s where the Boring Company’s current projects stand:

  • Hawthorne: A test tunnel has been permitted and is under construction. 
  • Los Angeles: An excavation permit application has been submitted to the City of Los Angeles. The project would be a 6.5 mile (10.5 km) proof-of-process tunnel which would run within the City of Los Angeles and Culver City.
  • East Coast: The Boring Company says its working with federal and state officials on a DC-to-Baltimore route which would then be extended to New York. The State of Maryland has granted permission for 10.1 miles of tunnel beneath the state-owned part of the Baltimore-Washington. The company has released details of twin tunnels for 35 miles from downtown DC to downtown Baltimore, beneath New York Avenue and then the Baltimore-Washington Parkway. In the future this could be extended to New York.
  • Chicago: The Boring Company has been selected to build a high-speed underground transportation system that it says will whisk passengers from downtown Chicago to O’Hare International Airport in mere minutes.

source: dailymail.co.uk

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