Musk is due to speak at an AI conference, called the World Artificial Intelligence Conference, taking place in Shanghai on August 29-31. Replying to a tweet about the event he announced: “Will also be launching The Boring Company China on this trip.”
Another Twitter user chipped into the conversation to ask whether the company would also do underwater tunnels — to which Musk replied simply “yes“.
A securities filing last month revealed that the The Boring Company had raised its first outside investment via the sale of $120M in stock. So the company has some extra cash sloshing around to plough into new ventures.
It also recently landed its first commercial contract: $48.7M to build and operate an underground “people mover” in Las Vegas, focused on the Las Vegas Convention Center.
This underground ‘people mover’ is not, as you might imagine, a tried and tested metro train system. The plan apparently involves building two tunnels: One for vehicles (Musk does also sell electrics cars) and a second tunnel for pedestrians who will be carried in (modified) Tesla cars. The latter fully autonomous, under the plan.
Current generation Teslas are not capable of driving themselves, merely offering driving assistance features to humans. But autonomous driving inside a tunnel is about as much of a controlled environment you could hope for — without, y’know, sticking cars together on rails and making a driverless train (like the one that’s been serving London’s Docklands area since 1987).
The Las Vegas contract specifies …Read More
Elon Musk planning to change up the Hyperloop student engineering competition that his company SpaceX has run for the past four years. Next year’s competition will be done in a tunnel that’s over six miles long, the SpaceX CEO said on Twitter on Sunday, with a curve instead of being in a straight line like the current, 3/4-mile test tunnel at SpaceX’s Hawthorne HQ.
That’s a big change, and one that it’s unclear how and where SpaceX will make it happen, given that the current test tunnel can support likely an additional “200 meters” according to Boring Company President Steve Davis speaking at this year’s Hyperloop Pod Competition finals earlier on Sunday.
Davis and Musk discussed extending the tunnel on stage, but it sounded like they were planning a relatively minor extension next year, with Musk musing that they’d likely be able to build a longer, Boring company-dug tunnel about three years from now for use in the annual student challenge.
“I don’t think we’ll have a long enough, straight enough underground tunnel a year from now but I think three years from now we definitely will,” Musk said during a Q&A at the competition. “So figure three years from now, we’ll at least have a couple miles […] now then you can really move.”
Musk also entertained the possibility of starting a new engineering competition around The Boring Co’s main mission: Tunnelling.
“We could maybe do a tunnelling competition, that might be good,” Musk said. “We’ll consider a tunnelling competition,” he concluded after a few seconds of thought.
“I think a tunnelling thing would be pretty exciting,” Musk said later in response to a follow-up question by one …Read More