Watch Elon Musk’s Boring Company test its Tesla tunnel system in Las Vegas with members of the public

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  • The Boring Company offered rides through its Las Vegas Convention Center Loop this week.
  • The rides were designed to test the capacity of the tunnels.
  • Videos of the event represent the first real peek into Elon Musk’s futuristic transportation plans.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The Boring Company began offering rides in Teslas through its tunnel system in Las Vegas this week.

Elon Musk’s company provided the complimentary rides through the tunnels as a final test before the system officially debuts in June.

The Las Vegas Convention Center loop is a three-station transport system with 1.7 miles of tunnels.

Las Vegas residents were encouraged to sign up for the tunnel rides last week. The goal was to test the traffic capacity the tunnels could handle, according to The Boring Company’s sign-up page.

Videos and pictures of the event have popped up online as people shared their first experience riding through Musk’s futuristic transportation system. It is the first true glimpse of The Boring Company’s work in action with public passengers since the tunnels were opened to the press in April.

The test drives dropped the riders off between stations and most testers went for anywhere between seven to 12 rides, according to The Verge.

Overall, the experience is toned down from Musk’s original vision, which involved autonomous vehicles that could be summoned via an app and rides through the tunnels at 150 miles per hour.

Test riders at the Las Vegas Loop did not use an app, but merely walked up to available Teslas. The cars were driven by drivers through the tunnels at limited speeds with most videos showing a maximum speed of 40 miles per hour, though one video appears to show a Tesla hitting a top speed of 116 miles per hour in one of the tunnels.

The goal of The Boring Company’s $52.5 million project is to turn a 45-minute walk into a two-minute trip, but testers pointed to inefficiency in the system as they waited for cars to arrive at the stations, and cars became backed up in the tight underground spaces between tunnel roads.

The tunnel system is meant to shuttle up to 4,400 passengers per hour, but documents obtained by TechCrunch in October show that the $52.5 million loop may only be able to accommodate 1,200 people due to fire regulations.

The Las Vegas Loop is one of many projects that Musk’s company has been working on. The company has already expressed interest in building tunnels in several other major cities, including Miami and Fort Lauderdale. In February, Musk offered to build a tunnel under Miami for about $30 million, and the city’s mayor told Insider in May that he expected initial planning paperwork to be ready in about three months.

However, several of The Boring Company’s plans have also stalled. In April, the group removed any mention of its plans to build transit tunnels in Los Angeles and Washington D.C. from its website after the projects were met with several hurdles, including environmental regulations.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Watch Teslas slowly move through Elon Musk’s new Boring Company tunnel under Las Vegas

boring company tunnel tesla
A modified Tesla Model X drives into the tunnel entrance before an unveiling event for the Boring Co. Hawthorne test tunnel in Hawthorne, California, U.S., on December 18, 2018.

  • Some of the first videos of Elon Musk’s Las Vegas tunnel hit the web on Thursday.
  • Members of the media were invited to check out the tunnel ahead of its summer launch.
  • The tunnel loop under the Las Vegas Convention Center spans 1.7 miles and has three stops.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The Boring Company’s Las Vegas tunnel system is nearly up and running, and initial videos of the network in action hit the web on Thursday.

Elon Musk’s tunneling firm invited members of the media to check out the 1.7-mile-long loop that runs beneath the Las Vegas Convention Center ahead of its debut this summer. And clips from the event show that the underground transportation network functions essentially as the billionaire described: “basically just Teslas in tunnels at this point.”

Videos shared online show a parade of slow-moving Teslas dipping in and out of tunnels and driving around stations. The system is illuminated up by color-changing lights, making the Las Vegas Convention Center Loop look equal parts transit network and night club.

The LVCC Loop has three stops that span the convention center’s sprawling 200-acre campus. The people-mover – serviced by Teslas that customers can hail through an app – cuts a 45-minute walk across the convention center to a roughly two-minute ride, according to The Boring Company. The Teslas will travel at up to 35 mph, the Las Vegas Review Journal reports.

Despite Musk’s claim that the loop is “way more profound than it sounds,” the system may not live up to all the hype.

It is meant to shuttle up to 4,400 passengers per hour, but documents obtained by TechCrunch in October show that the $52.5 million loop may only be able to accommodate 1,200 people due to fire regulations. And although The Boring Company has said it plans to service its tunnels with self-driving, high-capacity Tesla vehicles, the LVCC Loop is starting out with normal Teslas that require drivers.

Detractors say that makes The Boring Company’s projects little more than reinvented subways with significantly less passenger capacity. Critics also point out that The Boring Company’s noble aim of building congestion-alleviating tunnels under cities worldwide ignores the phenomenon of induced demand, which says that more roadways – even underground ones – will give way to more cars.

The LVCC Loop will be operational by June, according to the authority that runs the convention center. The Boring Company aims to expand the system to other Las Vegas destinations, including the airport and downtown. It is also in talks with Miami officials for a similar project there.

Read the original article on Business Insider