After Shooting a Tesla into Space, Elon Musk Shoots One into a Very Tight Hole

Tesla Model X in a Boring tunnel 1 photo
Photo: The Boring Company via Twitter
A Tesla is more than a car. As of this past February, when a Roadster started its journey to eternity, a Tesla car is also an astronaut. And now, Teslas are also subways.
In the time that has passed since the launch of the Roadster on top of the SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket, Musk’s other company, the one that looks for profit by digging holes in the ground, has completed one short section of what is to become a full-grown tunnel linking SpaceX’s parking lot in Hawthorne to the Los Angeles International Airport.

That section officially opened – sort of – on Tuesday, when The Boring Company feat. Tesla put the section of the underground tunnel to the test.

To understand what is happening in the video below, we must at first tell you Musk’s tunnels are to serve a double purpose – triple, if making money off dirt bricks resulted from digging is taken into account.

First, the tunnels are to be used by pods capable of carrying people to and fro at high speed and that work pretty much as subways do today, being open to all willing to board. This approach involves complicated magnetic propulsion, vacuum and a host of other sciences we’re not very fond of.

The second role is much simpler, and calls only for cars to be dropped into the tunnel by means of elevators, travel to wherever and resurface at the destination.

It was exactly this second approach that was put to the test yesterday. Using a Model X as a test subject, Boring had the car travel through the very tight tunnel at speeds of about 35 mph (56 km/h), while being kept from hitting the walls by a retractable wheel gear attached to the car’s front wheels.

By the looks of it, there was no magical power at work there, as some expected: the car drove on its own power, while the wheel gear was only there to prevent it from crashing into the sides of the tunnel. No complicated magnetic propulsion, then.

Also, as seen in the clip below, the ride does not look smooth at all, despite what appears to be an excitingly fast and plain sailing start.

What we see in the Boring video is light years away from what Musk showed the world in the past in glamorous CGI. Keep in mind though that this is only the beginning, and as with any beginning, bumps in the road are to be expected.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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