On Thursday at an event in Los Angeles, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk detailed the plans of his tunneling startup The Boring Company to bring underground travel via the Hyperloop a reality in the city.
Musk demonstrated his concept for "the Loop," a "personalized mass transit system" that can carry 16 people and travel at 150 miles per hour in underground tunnels, as reported by our sister site CNET. That would mean that a business traveler could be transported from downtown Los Angeles to Los Angeles International Airport in eight minutes.
Musk projected that the cost of this travel would be only $1 per passenger.
The first step of the Los Angeles Loop project will take the form of 2.7 miles of tunnel that will run north to south, parallel to the Interstate 405 freeway, CNET reported. Musk said at the event that he envisions that it will involve hundreds of small stations the size of a single or double car parking spot, rather than a few large stations, to prevent traffic.
This is the most detail that Musk has provided on his plans for his Hyperloop concept. The Boring Company has partnered with LA Metro to dig the tunnels for the project, but it will be privately funded. If successful, it could be built out further in the city and elsewhere.
"It's the only way we can think of to address the chronic traffic issues in major cities," Musk said at the event.
Musk explained more of his vision for making Hyperloop travel a reality back in March, saying that he was tweaking The Boring Company's plan to prioritize the transportation of pedestrians and cyclists over cars. The startup received an exploratory permit to begin tunneling work in Washington, D.C. in February.
While the hyperloop is poised to revolutionize transportation for business and pleasure, the concept remains in its early days. Musk did not provide any timeline for the Los Angeles project.
SEE: Travel and business expense policy (Tech Pro Research)
However, this isn't the only of Musk's transportation endeavors to make headway in recent months: In December, the high-speed transportation project Virgin Hyperloop One hit a new speed record of 240 mph last week, bringing us closer to a world wherein people can easily travel long distances via pressurized tubes for work or pleasure. A number of companies are now trying to bring this Hyperloop concept, originated by Musk, to life.
If travel via the Hyperloop becomes a reality, its routes could radically cut down on the time and costs for business and other travelers to get from city to city and country to country: For example, routes include 30 minutes from San Francisco to Los Angeles, 50 minutes from London to Edinburgh, eight minutes from Helsinki to Tallinn, and 55 minutes from Melbourne to Sydney, according to TechRepublic's Nick Heath.
The big takeaways for tech leaders:
- Elon Musk detailed plans for The Boring Company's Loop in Los Angeles, a mass transit system that will carry 16 people and travel at 150 miles per hour through a tunnel.
- If travel via the Hyperloop becomes a reality, its routes could radically cut down on the time and costs for business and other travelers to get from city to city and country to country.
- Special report: IT Jobs in 2020: A leader's guide (free PDF) (TechRepublic)
- Virgin Hyperloop One hits new top speed (ZDNet)
- Elon Musk's Boring Company tunnel plans put buses in fast lane (CNET)
- Hyperloop: The smart person's guide (TechRepublic)
- Hyperloop One: These nine new routes could bring 680mph maglev travel to millions (ZDNet)
- SpaceX rocket could cut business flights to anywhere on earth to 60 minutes or less (TechRepublic)
Alison DeNisco Rayome has nothing to disclose. She does not hold investments in the technology companies she covers.
Alison DeNisco Rayome is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. She covers CXO, cybersecurity, and the convergence of tech and the workplace.