Technology 2 min read

The Boring Company Finally Opens its First Hyperloop Tunnel

A Tesla Model X during a demonstration along the track of the first Hyperloop tunnel in Hawthorne City, California| The Boring Company

A Tesla Model X during a demonstration along the track of the first Hyperloop tunnel in Hawthorne City, California| The Boring Company

After two years of anticipation, the first Hyperloop tunnel developed by the Boring Company has finally been opened.

The first Hyperloop tunnel under the headquarters of SpaceX in Hawthorne City, California officially opened on Tuesday. The 1.4-mile Loop, which will be used to test the viability of his Hyperloop concept, was completed this December.

According to reports, the tunnel costs around $10 million USD to build. The company initially designed the tunnel to transport vehicles using a pair of innovative electric skates. The skates will supposedly help the cars zip through the tunnel at speeds of up to 150 mph.

Surprisingly, what The Boring Company CEO, Elon Musk, unveiled yesterday was entirely different from the initial plan. The company dropped the electric skates and instead used “tracking wheels,” or retractable rollers that could be seen flipping out from beneath the front portion of the Tesla vehicle used during the demonstration.

Read More: Boring Company to Build an Underground Garage in Hawthorne

The First Hyperloop Tunnel

Before Tuesday’s launching event, Musk already tweeted a photo of a white Tesla Model X placed on the hyperloop’s track.

“Tesla in @boringcompany tunnel with retractable wheel gear that turns a car into a rail-guided train & back again,” Musk said.

In a separate tweet, Musk clarified that ANY autonomous electric car and not just Tesla could utilize their technology. He said that the retractable wheels could be installed to a vehicle for around $200 to $300 USD.

“We’re obviously at the early stages here. This is a prototype. We’re figuring things out,” Musk was quoted as saying. “I think there is a path to alleviating traffic congestion in cities.”

Musk reportedly expects further improvement in the tunneling speed as The Boring Company uses more advanced digging machines. The tech billionaire said that they had learned a lot from the first hyperloop tunnel in Hawthorne and it inspired them to work more on their next-generation boring equipment.

Also, The Boring Company is planning to reduce the cost of building its tunnels by changing the way they move the dirt. The said process allegedly takes up 15 percent of the tunnel’s overall cost. In one of their announcements this year, the company said that they would be turning the dirt into bricks and sell them.

Do you believe that Musk’s Hyperloop tunnel will be able to solve the traffic problems of California?

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Chelle Fuertes

Chelle is the Product Management Lead at INK. She's an experienced SEO professional as well as UX researcher and designer. She enjoys traveling and spending time anywhere near the sea with her family and friends.

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