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Elon Musk shares first look at LA tunnelling

The Boring Company's TBM, named Godot

Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk has revealed he is ready to start construction of a road tunnel under Los Angeles after sharing pictures and videos of his tunnel boring machine (TBM) on social media.

The TBM, named Godot, appears to be complete in a video showing the cutterhead in operation, although Musk pledges to increase its speed “by a factor of 10 or more”. A separate photo shows the portal and staging area for the TBM, owned by Musk’s new firm, The Boring Company.

Musk said the length of first tunnel will run from Los Angeles International airport to several parts of the city. A further network of tunnels will cover the whole of Los Angeles.

Meanwhile another of Musk’s futuristic transport plans has leapt forward. Transport company Hardt Global Mobility and Bam have formed a partnership to create Europe’s first hyperloop test site in the Netherlands. It will develop the technology needed for Musk’s vision of 1,080km/h travel through low-pressure tubes.

A 30m long test facility will be created within four years to develop the most important systems for hyperloop technology at low speeds. It is hoped the research conducted at the test site will lead to further hyperloop networks.

Last week (8 May) Musk’s plans to tunnel under Los Angeles to relieve traffic congestion attracted criticism from a leading engineering professor. In a TED talk Musk had explained plans for a tunnel network under the city, with cars entering and leaving the tunnel on lifts. He added that cars could travel through the tunnels at 130mph on electric sleds.

Source: The Boring Company

Elon Musk's vision for cars on electric "skates".

Despite the criticism, Musk released a video detailing a test run of the electric sled to transport cars at 125mph.

Musk, who is also chief executive of several hi-tech companies including Tesla and SpaceX, first announced plans to tunnel under Los Angeles while stuck in traffic.

Since December he has established The Boring Company to carry out his work. A 4.5m deep “test trench” of 9m wide and 15m long has already been excavated at Musk company SpaceX’s Los Angeles headquarters, according to Wired magazine.

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