Elon Musk unveiled his underground tunnel transportation system on Tuesday. He allowed reporters and invited guests to take some of the first rides in the revolutionary albeit bumpy subterranean tube. This is tunnel is the tech entrepreneur’s answer to what he calls soul-destroying traffic.
Guests got aboard Musk’s Tesla Model S. They rode along Los Angeles area surface streets about a mile away to what’s known as O’Leary Station. The station in the middle of a residential neighbourhood. It consists of a wall-less elevator that slowly took the car down a wide shaft, roughly 30 feet (9 metres) below the surface.
Elon Musk said that his first ride was “epic.” The sky slowly fell away and the surprisingly narrow tunnel emerged. “We’re clear,” said the driver, who sped up and zipped into the tunnel when a red track light turned green, making the tube look like something from space or a dance club.
The car jostled significantly during the ride. This turbulence was enough to give one of the reporters motion sickness while another enjoyed while yelling “Woo!”
Musk told a room full of reporters, “For me, it was a eureka moment. I was like, this is going to damn well work.” He said that the rides were bumpy now because “we kind of ran out of time” and there were some problems with the speed of his paving machine.
The future systems will be “smooth as glass”, said Elon Musk. “This is just a prototype. That’s why it’s a little rough around the edges.”
The demonstration rides were also considerably slower than the future planned rides. That involves a speed downgrade of 64 kph from 241 kph. But still, it only took three minutes to go just over a mile from the beginning to the end of the tunnel.