Business mogul Elon Musk recently unveiled a prototype underground tunnel system in Los Angeles designed to transport cars at high speed under the city.
Having scheduled the plans to ease the terrible congestion traffic nightmare last year. Mr Musk has said that his Boring Company had built the system for around £8m, but with the technology and tunnel building expertise needed the whole cost of the project would have cost £1bn.
At this moment the tunnel will be only 1.6km in length but the idea is to increase the tunnels and so decrease the traffic congestion under one of the world busiest cities.
Best known as the head of Tesla cars and the Space X programme, Mr Musk arrived at the launch site in a tesla modified model.
Cheered on by a small crowd eager to see and hear the latest developments Mr Musk explained how the process works
“Electric modified tesla cars will be lowered into the tunnels by lifts and then slotted into the tracks on the loop.
The clever procedure is very simple and has the capacity to turn a normal road car into a stable vehicle by adding the deployable tracking wheels or stabling wheels so that the car can travel at high speeds through the tunnels without hitting the sides. The beauty of the alignment wheels is that they can be used on a normal vehicle without interfering with the cars usual functions”
The cars will travel at speeds of up to 150mph on platforms and will decrease in speed the nearer you get to your exit, then automatically transfer the vehicle from tunnel to tunnel allowing you to continue on your journey. Basically it is a 3D motorway underground. After experiencing the experimental journey one of the attending reporters stated that it was like travelling on a theme park white knuckle ride, quite bumpy and uneven. The ride itself lasted 2 minutes and was set in a blue neon cave / tube surrounding which gave off a futuristic robotic glow.
Although the car only reached speeds of 49 mph, future vehicles will hopefully maintain speeds of 150mph. Elon explained “that the bumpiness was down to the paving machine running into some teething problems, once these have been addressed the ride will be as smooth as glass”.
The tunnels themselves run underneath an area called Hawthorne which is where Space X programme and the Boring Company are located and is a fantastic feat of engineering, not only recognising a problem but trying to solve it.
The engineering expertise never ceases to astound. The amount of intelligence and planning that goes into such a project is highly commendable, when someone turns and idea into reality is mind blowing. If this project is to succeed then there could not be a better more driven person at the helm.
Companies like bearingtech help to maintain similar projects by supplying the parts and accessories that not only start these projects but maintain them as well.
During the initial planning stage of the tunnel project Mr Musk was labelled as a madman, Robert Downey jr said that the character Tony Stark, he played in Iron Man, was inspired by Musk.
Iron Man, Madman, or clever man you decide!