After months of waiting, we may have just learned something crucial about Elon Musk’s Boring Company — which is digging tunnels to connect the two ends of the Las Vegas Convention Center in anticipation of a future rollout in major cities throughout the country.
Once it’s open to everyone, the Boring Company’s tunnel will shorten a 15-minute walk to a few minutes — courtesy of a pair of modified Model 3 and Model X Tesla cars. The vehicles will rush passengers through the 1.5 mile-long tunnels at speeds of up to 35 mph (56.3 km/h).
And, with newly-designed vehicles, the company might add substantial passenger capacity to the white-walled convenience of future cities, said CEO of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority Steve Hill in an initial Thursday report from Las Vegas Review-Journal.
— James Schaeffer (@jamesmschaeffer) April 9, 2021
Tesla might be building 16-person vehicles for the Las Vegas tunnel
However, Hill’s comments on the forthcoming Boring Company tunnel aren’t exactly clear-cut. The report from the Las Vegas Review-Journals seems to say Tesla is working on high-capacity vehicles, but there isn’t an explicit instance of Hill directly saying so.
For now, several questions are still unanswered. It’s unclear what the new vehicles will look like, when they’ll debut, or even if Tesla is going to unveil them. “It seems that during a pandemic is not the time to be increasing capacity,” said Hill to the Review-Journal. In 2018, Elon Musk shared computer renderings of futuristic passenger pods capable of fitting 16 passengers — which could be what Hill means. But this is unconfirmed.
This perplexing development came as Las Vegas media companies were invited to grab a sneak peek of the Boring Co.’s $52.5-million transportation system on Thursday. The tunnels will feature LED lighting that cycles through a stimulating rainbow of colors every second, making something as ostensibly boring as long white tunnels a source of visual entertainment.
A 16-person vehicle might make The Boring Co.’s tunnels more efficient
Once completed, the tunnels will move passengers of the Convention Center between three different stations. The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority has already granted a certificate of occupancy to Elon Musk’s company. While Tesla sedans will ferry the initial passengers of the futuristic system, the Review-Journal claims Hill said higher-capacity vehicles are a possible development.
“It seems that during a pandemic is not the time to be increasing capacity,” said Hill to reporters, shortly before they were launched into the system like a Willy Wonka ride.
Musk’s interest in building the Las Vegas tunnel can seem baffling — moving hundreds of thousands of people between opposite sides of the Convention Center isn’t an idea everyone agrees with. But if Musk’s companies work together to build a 16-passenger vehicle — custom-built for moving through underground tunnels at ludicrous speeds, people might start warming to the idea.
This was a breaking story and was regularly updated as new information became available.