Musk Shows Underground High Speed Tunnels: Driving Model X Shuttle

 Musk Shows Underground High Speed Tunnels: Driving Model X Shuttle

Netease Technologies News Dec. 19, according to U.S. media reports, on Tuesday night Musk drove the modified ModelX through Borings tunnel and revealed his vision for the high-speed tunnel system, believing that it could alleviate traffic congestion and have a revolutionary impact on the traffic of urban commuters.

Engineers and workers dug a 1.8-kilometer tunnel beneath the main Hawthorne Road in California. The tunnel starts in the parking lot of SpaceX, another company owned by Musk, and ends in a block about 1.6 kilometers away. Boring showed reporters Tuesday afternoon how the modified Model XSUV travels in tunnels at speeds of 64 to 80 kilometers per hour.

Engineers have installed detachable positioning wheels on the front wheels of the car, which are installed outside the main wheel and used as bumpers to ensure that the car moves along the track wall in the tunnel and prevents the car from hitting the tunnel wall. If the driver is unconscious or mad, these wheels can ensure that the car is on track, Musk said.

Figure: Front wheel alignment wheel shown in CNBC video

Although Boring completed the construction of the first tunnel, it is still a long way from completion. The surface of the tunnel is uneven and has not been polished. So in the experiment, the car was bumpy and the passengers felt that the positioning wheel was constantly hitting the track wall as the car moved forward. Musk has talked more than once about building a series of high-speed circular tunnels in big cities to ease traffic pressure.

In June, Boring signed an agreement with Chicago to build a 27-kilometer bus tunnel between the citys business district and Ohio Airport. In announcing the agreement, Musk said that only three years would be needed to excavate the tunnel and the project would start within three to four months. But more than half a year later, the project has not been approved by the government and regulatory agencies. This raises doubts about whether Boring can dig and build high-speed circular tunnels as Musk promised.

Chicago wont see such tunnels in the near future, said Forster Finley, co-head of transportation at Alix Partners, a consultancy. Engineers face many difficulties in digging tunnels, including public lines, confined aquifers and underground property rights, he said. His point is that tunneling often takes more time and costs more than expected.

Its easier and cheaper to build elevated light rail between downtown Chicago and Ohio Airport, Finley said. Musk disagreed. He called the high-speed circular tunnel a much better solution to traffic congestion. We think thats the really useful solution. (Muxiulin)

Source: Responsible Editor of Netease Science and Technology Report: Wang Fengzhi_NT2541