elon musk has officially opened the highly anticipated first boring company test tunnel under spaceX headquarters in southern california. in a presentation on tuesday (dec 18) musk, showed off the 1.4-mile (2.3 kilometer) long, 14-foot (4.3-meter) wide test tunnel winds its way underneath hawthorne and is estimated to have cost $10 million. 



the tunnel was originally designed to have the capability to transport vehicles on a pair of innovative electric skates that zip through the tunnel at up to 150 mph (241 kph). now however, tesla has unveiled plans to use retractable ‘tracking wheels’ that deploy from underneath the front of the car. once deployed these wheel effectively turn the car into a rail-guided train, keeping it within the tunnel’s one-way lane. reporters invited to hawthorne to see the unveiling were given a test ride of the technology in tesla model X SUVs which traveled at only 40 to 50 mph.

elon musk unveils first boring company tunnel underneath spaceX

images courtesy of elon musk



elon musk had previously envisioned ‘electric pods’ and vehicles on ‘electric skates’ traveling through the tunnels. musk documented his change of vision in an image posted on twitter of the tesla model X, on track, inside the tunnel, before later clarifying that any autonomous electric vehicle would be able to use the system and it would cost around $200 to $300 to install. ‘this is not intended to be some walled garden just for teslas,’ he said. ‘any autonomous electric vehicle can be outfitted with these guide wheels.