Elon Musk unveils underground transportation tunnel in Southern California

HAWTHORNE, Calif .– Tech mogul Elon Musk on Tuesday night unveiled an underground transportation tunnel in Hawthorne that could move people faster than subways.

Musk also showcased the self-driving cars that will transport commuters through the test tunnel, which runs about 2 miles below the city where Musk’s SpaceX headquarters is located. He unveiled elevators that he says will lower users’ own cars from the street to the tunnel.

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In a large entrance, Musk exited the mile-long tunnel in a Tesla Model X.

“What I think this really amounts to a real solution to the crushing burden of traffic,” he said. “Why the tunnels? Some people say, what about flying cars and all that other stuff and what about public transport – I want to be clear, we are not opposed to public transport – we think public transport is good. Let’s try all possible solutions, but the thing with tunnels is you can go underground in 3D. “

Elevators will take conductors underground and vice versa, but there is still a long way to go before a member of the public can even test it.

Musk said tunneling is slow and expensive, but the company is experimenting to create innovative technology underground to speed up travel times above ground.

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He also said some of the earth dug up will be reused to reinforce the tunnels, but the company has created an innovative brick-laying machine that will pump bricks at low cost. He hopes it can also be used for affordable housing.

The event came almost exactly two years after Musk tweeted that “traffic is driving me crazy”, adding that he intended to “build a tunnel boring machine and start digging”.

Some critics were skeptical. Musk replied, “I’m really going to do this.”

MORE: Elon Musk tweets Boring Company tunnel breakthrough

He then founded The Boring Company. He has since posted photos and videos on social media that showed crews advancing through the tunnel. The one that was unveiled on Tuesday is being used by Musk and the company to conduct research and development for a larger system in Los Angeles and elsewhere.
A proposed project, dubbed the Dugout Loop, would transport baseball fans to Dodger Stadium from one of three Metro subway stations.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Bonny J. Streater

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