Elon Musk Says ‘Hyperloop’ Tunnel Is Now Just a Normal Car Tunnel Because ‘This Is Simple and Just Works’


Back in 2017, Elon Musk had grand visions for the test track built by The Boring Company, his tunneling firm, in Los Angeles. The Boring Company’s tunneling work was closely linked to Musk’s Hyperloop idea, which would require hundreds of miles of tunneling to be viable, although the actual test track in California bore none of the traits of an air vacuum-based transportation system. It would have proprietary vehicles with varying capacities for private travel, public transport, or freight. They would travel along electrified skates for frictionless movement. It would be fast and efficient, but more importantly, it would be different, because he’s a genius. 

Yes, for those keeping score, in a mere two years we’ve gone from a futuristic vision of electric skates zooming around a variety of vehicles in a network of underground tunnels to—and I cannot stress this enough—a very small, paved tunnel that can fit one (1) car.

The video’s marketing conceit is that the car in the tunnel beats a car trying to go the same distance on roads. You’ll never believe this, but the car that has a dedicated right of way wins. Congratulations to The Boring Company for proving dedicated rights of way are important for speedy transportation, something transportation planners figured out roughly two centuries ago. I’m afraid for how many tunnels they’ll have to dig before they likewise acknowledge the validity of induced demand.

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