Tesla Goes Underground With 127 MPH Sprint In Boring Company Tunnel
Elon Musk’s Boring Company released a new video last night demonstrating its latest solution for a network of underground tunnels for electric vehicles. The new solution does away with the electric skates and guide wheels attached to Tesla vehicles in favor of simply using Tesla’s Autopilot to navigate the tunnel.
The demonstration pits two Model 3s against each other, with one taking the low road in a Boring Company tunnel and the other muddling its way through Los Angeles surface traffic. Without having to fight traffic and traffic signals, the underground vehicle is able to rocket up to 127 mile per hour (204 kilometers per hour) using just Autopilot and arrives at the destination in just ⅓ of the time. Check it out:
Wanna race? pic.twitter.com/zDNpdsdHaM
— The Boring Company (@boringcompany) May 24, 2019
More than anything, this small-scale demonstration highlights the before and after that Elon Musk’s Boring Company is shooting for. The aim is to build a network of underground tunnels and leverage technology to let private vehicles travel faster than is possible on the current mess of roads that we get around on today.
Does that make more sense than building a network of dedicated mass transit tunnels? Perhaps more importantly, will cities and countries even be interested in letting a privately-owned company bore out a grid of underground tunnels if they will only be used for private vehicles (er, Teslas)? The potential seems much greater if we were to leverage this new underground transportation network to solve for some of the higher volume routes, especially in countries like the United States, where mass transit has been all but an afterthought in many cities.
Elon Musk chimed in to the discussion in response to questions about why the company didn’t stick with sleds and rails. He said that they used Autopilot instead because it “is simple and just works.” The ability to completely control the underground environment and even pre-program segments of the transportation network to work with the cars makes the solution even easier.
On the other hand, it further complicates future regulatory hurdles by creating not just one monopoly in the tunnel network, but two, by pairing it with tech from just one automaker. To truly scale the underground tunnel network for use with one autonomous driving technology to rule them all, a net standard for autonomous driving tech would need to be developed that any manufacturer could adopt. This is not insurmountable by any stretch of the imagination.
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