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The Boring Company[2][3] is an infrastructure and tunnel construction company founded by Elon Musk in 2016. Musk has cited difficulty with Los Angeles traffic and limitations with the current 2-D transportation network as inspiration for the project.[3][4]

The Boring Company
Private
Industry Geotechnical engineering
Founded December 17, 2016; 19 months ago (2016-12-17)[1]
Founder Elon Musk
Headquarters Hawthorne, California, United States
Key people
Steve Davis (project lead)
Products Infrastructure
Website boringcompany.com

Contents

HistoryEdit

American business magnate Elon Musk announced the existence of The Boring Company in December 2016.[5] By February 2017, the company had begun digging a 30-foot-wide (9 m), 50-foot-long (15 m), and 15-foot-deep (4.6 m) testing trench on the premises of SpaceX's offices in Hawthorne, California, since construction on its site would not require any permits.[3][6] When told by employees on a Friday afternoon that it would take at least two weeks to move staff cars in the parking lot and start digging the first hole with the Boring Company tunneling machine, Musk said "Let's get started today and see what's the biggest hole we can dig between now and Sunday afternoon, running 24 hours a day." Later that day, the cars were gone and there was a hole in the ground.[7]

In an interview during a TED conference in May 2017, Musk estimated that this company's project had taken 2-3% of his time, making this venture a personal hobby.[8]

In March 2017, Musk announced that sometime in April the company would start using a tunnel boring machine (TBM) to begin digging a usable tunnel at SpaceX.[9] At the end of April 2017, a TBM was seen at SpaceX with the company's name on the side.[10] The TBM was revealed to be named "Godot" in May 2017, after the Beckett play Waiting for Godot. Future TBMs will also be named after poems, plays, poets, and playwrights.[11] Musk says the first route created 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 normal driving that can take up to 45 minutes in normal traffic to go from LAX to Westwood.[12] These trips will be implemented by placing a car on an electric sled and traveling at 200 kilometres per hour (120 mph) through tunnels. By November 2017, the company had filed permitting application with Los Angeles government regulators to build a tunnel from Hawthorne along Interstate 405 to Westwood.[13]

In July 2017, Musk said that The Boring Company had received verbal government approval to build an underground Hyperloop connecting New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C.[14] In October 2017, the company obtained a utility permit for the construction of the Baltimore-Washington tunnel from the Maryland’s Department of Transportation. This part of the tunnel - some 35 miles between Penn Station in Baltimore to Washington Union Station - will start near Fort Meade.[15] The October 2017 Maryland government permit for utilities indicated that construction could begin in January 2018 on two parallel 12.4-mile (20.0 km) electric-sled tunnels that would run from Maryland Route 175 to downtown Baltimore terminating near Camden Yards.[16]

The New York to Washington, D.C. Hyperloop, which Musk has claimed will take 29 minutes to travel from city center to city center, could be built[16] in the future at the same time as the Los Angeles tunnel system announced in May. Other projects include a San Francisco to Los Angeles Hyperloop and a Texas Hyperloop, which are planned for a later stage.[17]

In July 2017, Musk uploaded a video depicting a successful test of a prototype car elevator.[18] In October, Musk revealed the second TBM is named "Line-storm", named after the Robert Frost poem “A Line-Storm Song”.[19]

In November 2017, Musk stated that The Boring Company would respond to a Request for Quotation (RFQ) from the Chicago Infrastructure Trust and the City of Chicago to "design, build, finance, operate and maintain an express service through a public-private partnership" from O'Hare International Airport to downtown Chicago.[20][21][22] By March 2018, the company had been selected as one of two finalists in the competition.[23]

In March 2018, Elon Musk announced that the company would readjust its plan to prioritize pedestrians and cyclists over cars[24], which would only be considered for transport after all "personalized mass transit needs" were met.[25]

In June 2018, Chicago selected Musk’s company from four competing bids to provide high-speed transportation between downtown and the airport. The final contract remains to be negotiated.[26]

Boring machinesEdit

The first three boring machines used by The Boring Company are:[27]:51:15–54:30

  • Godot,[11] a conventional tunnel boring machine, used for research purposes.
  • Line-storm, a highly-modified conventional boring machine, a hybrid design, boring 2–3 time faster than pre-2018 boring machines.
  • Proof-rock, a "fully-Boring-Company-designed machine",[27]:52:03 anticipated to be ten times faster than conventional boring machines, with hopes of making it even faster. Currently under development as of May 2018.

Tunnel projects and proposalsEdit

The Boring Company currently has active construction, or approved plans in place, in at least two areas of the United States, on opposite coasts. They have also been selected to build a downtown-to-airport loop by a government program for high-speed transport in Chicago.

Los AngelesEdit

A 2-mile (3.2 km) tunnel in Los Angeles, California began construction in 2017 on a route from Hawthorne along Interstate 405 to Westwood.[13] In May 2018, Musk said that tunnel boring is complete and the tunnel final work is nearly done, will be open in a few months, and that people can try it for free, pending regulatory approval, when it first opens.[28][29]

In May 2018, TBC announced plans to develop a second privately-funded tunnel in the Los Angeles area, a 2.7 mi (4.3 km)-long test tunnel on a north-south alignment parallel to Interstate 405 and adjacent to Sepulveda Boulevard in Los Angeles, near the junction with Interstate 10. It will be a single-tunnel shaft on private property, and will not be utilized for public transportation.[27]:25:50 The tunnel is designed for experimentation, including public customer feedback to help TBC learn so that they can submit more complete and better information to the California environmental regulator for a long-lead-time Environmental Impact Assessment for the broader loop tunnel transportation system that might be designed for the Los Angeles area.[27] A proposal to build a 3.6 miles (5.8 km) tunnel to Dodger Stadium called the "Dugout Loop" was first publicly discussed in August 2018. The project would be a public-private partnership, if built, and it is anticipated construction would require 14 months to complete.[30]

BaltimoreEdit

A 12.4-mile (20.0 km) electric-sled dual-bore tunnel has been permitted in Baltimore, Maryland where construction was slated to begin in early 2018. The initial work would extend from Maryland Route 175 to downtown Baltimore terminating near Camden Yards.[16] Utility permits were issued to extend a full 35 miles (56 km) from Baltimore to Washington DC, between Penn Station in Baltimore to Washington Union Station.[15][needs update]

ChicagoEdit

A competition to build a high-speed link from downtown Chicago to the soon-to-be-expanded O’Hare Airport had been reduced to just two bidders by March 2018.[23] The Boring Company was selected in June 2018[31] and will now negotiate a contract to be presented to the Chicago City Council. Construction is to be entirely financed by The Boring Company, which is subsequently to maintain and operate the link. The system would transport passengers in automated electric cars carrying 16 passengers (and their luggage) through two parallel tunnels running under existing public way alignments, traveling from Block 37 to the airport in 12 minutes, at speeds reaching 125 to 150 miles per hour (200 to 240 km/h), with pods departing as often as every 30 seconds.[32]

Future goalsEdit

According to Musk, the company's goal is to enhance tunneling speed enough such that establishing a tunnel network is financially feasible.[33][6]

"If you think of tunnels going 10, 20, 30 layers deep (or more), it is obvious that going 3D down will encompass the needs of any city’s transport of arbitrary size."

— Elon Musk[34]

Future boring operations will implement a contemporaneous operation of boring and tunnel reinforcement to reduce the cost of the tunnelling operations, in addition to the reduction of tunnel size, re-using soil materials for tunnel construction, and further technological improvements.[35]

According to Tesla, Inc. and SpaceX board member Steve Jurvetson, tunnels specifically built for electric vehicles have reduced size and complexity, and thus decreased cost. “The insight I think that’s so powerful is that if you only envision electric vehicles in your tunnels you don’t need to do the air handling for all carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, you know, basically pollutants for exhaust. You could have scrubbers and a variety of simpler things that make everything collapse to a smaller tunnel size, which dramatically lowers the cost … The whole concept of what you do with tunnels changes.”[36]

Musk also hinted at the possibility that the underground infrastructure technology might be used for his project of creating a self-sustaining human colony on Mars: "I do think getting good at digging tunnels could be really helpful for Mars. For sure there's going to be a lot of ice mining on Mars, and mining in general to get raw materials. You can build a tremendous amount underground with the right boring technology on Mars. So I do think there is some overlap in that technology development arena."[37] "And then, along the way, building underground habitats where you could get radiation shielding… you could build an entire city underground if you wanted to".[38][39][40]

Marketing and promotional merchandiseEdit

In 2018, the company began to engage in a number of marketing promotions and offered several types of promotional merchandise to consumers. To date, these have included hats, "flamethrowers" and fire extinguishers.

The company began its consumer sales by offering 50,000 hats and once those sold out in January 2018, it began offering 20,000 "flamethrowers" for preordering.[41][42] The Boring Company's "flamethrower" was a blow torch shaped to look like a gun and it is legal to use in all U.S. states except for Maryland.[43] The sale of the "flamethrower" attracted criticism, with politician Miguel Santiago seeking to introduce legislation that would ban sales of the device in California. In just a few days, all 20,000 "flamethrowers" were sold out, but after customs officials said that they would not allow any items called 'flamethrowers', Elon Musk announced on Twitter that he would rename them to "Not-A-Flamethrower" and subsequently updated the Boring Company website where it also states that it is the "world's safest flamethrower". Musk also announced separate sales of the Boring Company Fire Extinguisher, which he described as "overpriced... but this one comes with a cool sticker".[44]

In March 2018, Musk announced on Twitter that the company would soon be launching a new type of merchandise, which he described as "lifesize LEGO-like interlocking bricks made from tunneling rock that you can use to create sculptures & buildings".[45]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "The Boring Company - Crunchbase". crunchbase.com. Retrieved September 22, 2017. 
  2. ^ Division of Corporations (January 11, 2017), "TBC - The Boring Company", Department of State, State of Delaware, 6279803 
  3. ^ a b c Chafkin, Max (February 16, 2017). "Elon Musk Is Really Boring". Bloomberg. Retrieved February 16, 2017. 
  4. ^ Peyser, Eve (January 30, 2017). "Elon Musk on Digging Big-Ass Tunnel: 'We Have No Idea What We're Doing'". Gizmodo. Retrieved February 17, 2017. 
  5. ^ Gajanan, Mahita (December 18, 2016). "Elon Musk's Next Venture to Tackle Traffic Is Totally 'Boring'". Fortune. Retrieved February 17, 2017. 
  6. ^ a b Heathman, Amelia. "Elon Musk's boring machine has already built a 'test trench' in Hawthorne, CA". WIRED UK. Retrieved February 19, 2017. 
  7. ^ Strauss, Neil (November 15, 2017). "Elon Musk: The Architect of Tomorrow". Rolling Stone. Retrieved November 15, 2017. 
  8. ^ TED (May 3, 2017). "The future we're building -- and boring - Elon Musk" – via YouTube. 
  9. ^ Galeon, Dom (March 24, 2017). "Elon Musk: We Start Digging the Tunnel Under L.A. Next Month". Futurism. 
  10. ^ "We just got our first glimpse of Elon Musk's new tunnel company". Business Insider. Retrieved May 10, 2017. 
  11. ^ a b Denisse Moreno (May 11, 2017). "SpaceX, Tesla CEO Elon Musk Reveals Name Of His Tunnel Boring Machine: Godot". International Business Times. 
  12. ^ Hawkins, Andrew J. (May 12, 2017). "Elon Musk's new video of his underground tunnel project will make you nauseous". The Verge. 
  13. ^ a b Nelson, Laura J. "Elon Musk's tunneling company wants to dig through L.A." latimes.com. 
  14. ^ Musk, Elon [@elonmusk] (July 20, 2017). "Just received verbal govt approval for The Boring Company to build an underground NY-Phil-Balt-DC Hyperloop. NY-DC in 29 mins" (Tweet). Retrieved July 21, 2017 – via Twitter. 
  15. ^ a b Laris, Michael (October 20, 2017). "Tunnel for Elon Musk's East Coast Hyperloop promised in Maryland" – via www.washingtonpost.com. 
  16. ^ a b c "When Boring Company Will Start Digging Northeast Hyperloop, Gov Docs Reveal : It's sooner than you think". Inverse. December 15, 2017. Retrieved January 11, 2018. 
  17. ^ Musk, Elon [@elonmusk] (July 20, 2017). "For sure. First set of tunnels are to alleviate greater LA urban congestion. Will start NY-DC in parallel. Then prob LA-SF and a TX loop" (Tweet). Retrieved July 21, 2017 – via Twitter. 
  18. ^ "Elon Musk reveals Boring car elevator". The Verge. Retrieved July 26, 2017. 
  19. ^ "The Boring Company will add second tunneling machine "Line-storm" to its fleet". www.teslarati.com. 
  20. ^ Musk, Elon (November 29, 2017). "The Boring Company will compete to fund, build & operate a high-speed Loop connecting Chicago O'Hare Airport to downtown…". @elonmusk. Retrieved November 30, 2017. 
  21. ^ Wisniewski, Mary. "Emanuel takes next step toward O'Hare express train". chicagotribune.com. Retrieved November 30, 2017. 
  22. ^ Trust, Chicago Infrastructure. "O'Hare Express System Project - Chicago Infrastructure Trust". chicagoinfrastructure.org. Retrieved November 30, 2017. 
  23. ^ a b "O'Hare Express competition down to two — and Elon Musk is one of them". Chicago Suntimes. 
  24. ^ Musk, Elon (9 Mar 2018). "Adjusting The Boring Company plan: all tunnels & Hyperloop will prioritize pedestrians & cyclists over cars". @elonmusk. Retrieved 2018-03-10. 
  25. ^ Musk, Elon (9 Mar 2018). "Will still transport cars, but only after all personalized mass transit needs are met. It's a matter of courtesy & fairness. If someone can't afford a car, they should go first". @elonmusk. Retrieved 2018-03-10. 
  26. ^ Chicago taps Elon Musk’s Boring Company to build high-speed transit tunnels that would tie Loop with O'Hare
  27. ^ a b c d Elon Musk, Steve Davis. The Boring Company Information Session (video). Leo Baeck Temple, Los Angeles, California: The Boring Company. Retrieved 20 May 2018 – via YouTube. 
  28. ^ Elon Musk posted video of his Boring Company tunnels under LA, saying people can use them 'in a few months' for free Business Insider, 11 May 2018, accessed 20 May 2018.
  29. ^ http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2018/05/11/elon-musk-la-traffic-tunnel-nearly-complete/
  30. ^ [1]
  31. ^ https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-06-14/elon-musk-s-boring-co-wins-chicago-airport-high-speed-train-bid
  32. ^ Geuss, Megan (14 June 2018). "Chicago selects Elon Musk's Boring Company to build express line from O'Hare". Ars Technica. Retrieved 14 June 2018. 
  33. ^ Thompson, Avery (February 16, 2017). "Elon Musk Is Really Making a Boring Company". Popular Mechanics. Retrieved April 27, 2017. 
  34. ^ "Elon Musk's Tunnel Under LA Is Already in Progress". Wired magazine. Retrieved 21 March 2017. 
  35. ^ "The Boring Company FAQ". The Boring Company. Retrieved July 27, 2017. 
  36. ^ "Steve Jurvetson talks The Boring Company: Short-range EV tunnels before Hyperloop". www.teslarati.com. 
  37. ^ "Elon Musk wants moonbase to be built to 'fire up' interest in space". dailymail.co.uk. Retrieved August 24, 2017. 
  38. ^ "Elon Musk's L.A. Tunnel Boring Project is Just Practice for Mars". inverse.com. Retrieved August 24, 2017. 
  39. ^ "Public Access - Why Elon Musk's LA Tunnel Is Really About Colonizing Mars". Engadget. Retrieved August 24, 2017. 
  40. ^ "Elon Musk bought a boring machine but is it for LA or Mars? - Fanatical Futurist by Keynote Speaker and Futurist Matthew Griffin". www.globalfuturist.org. 
  41. ^ "Flamethrower — The Boring Company". boringcompany.com. boringcompany.com. Retrieved 2018-01-29. 
  42. ^ "Elon Musk's Boring Company is now raising money by selling flamethrowers". money.cnn.com. CNN. 2018-01-28. Retrieved 2018-01-29. 
  43. ^ "Timeout everyone. Y'all know that Musk's $500 'flamethrower' is literally a Boring blowtorch?". boringcompany.com. Retrieved January 30, 2018. the "flamethrower" is basically a glorified propane blowtorch of the type commonly used by gardeners for burning weeds 
  44. ^ "California politician will seek sale ban on Elon Musk's Boring Company flamethrower". The Verge. Retrieved 2018-02-04. 
  45. ^ Musk, Elon [@elonmusk] (March 25, 2018). "New Boring Company merch coming soon. Lifesize LEGO-like interlocking bricks made from tunneling rock that you can use to create sculptures & buildings. Rated for California seismic loads, so super strong, but bored in the middle, like an aircraft wing spar, so not heavy" (Tweet) – via Twitter. 

External linksEdit