Elon Musk posts video of 'electric sled' for tunnel travel

May 12, 2017
Credit: Elon Musk

Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk on Friday posted video on social media of what he describes as an electric sled speeding through a tunnel, a test of a system he envisions for 3-D networks of underground passages for speeding traffic under Los Angeles' congested roads.

He posted on Twitter and Instagram that such sleds could transport cars at 125 mph (200 kmh), with automatic switching from one tunnel to the next.

The video shows the sled, apparently riding a monorail, zipping through alternately dark and lighted sections of the tunnel. Musk warned that watching it may cause or seizures.

The founder of the SpaceX rocket and the Tesla electric car companies told a recent TED Talk his ideas for improving the speed and cost-effectiveness of boring.

Cutterhead in operation at standard industry speed. Planning to jack this up by a factor of ten or more.

A post shared by Elon Musk (@elonmusk) on

Explore further: Elon Musk teases future plans at TED talk

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not rated yet May 13, 2017
But people can lie down, too. Prone or supine, you could fit a human body into a 2 foot cross section and that would be one
Troll wants us to ask how to evac - suck them out like a straw?

Stupid troll.
not rated yet May 13, 2017
skates carrying automobiles would work, but cars carrying people would move far more people far cheaper

Yes, but it wouldn't actually solve anything, as those people would still arrive to the stations by automobile, and need an automobile at the other exit to reach their actual destination. It would create additional probems for parking and additional cost from taxis.

That means most people would choose to drive instead, which is what the system is designed to solve: how to shuttle cars across the city quickly.

not rated yet May 16, 2017
The general problem of public transportation is that the quality of service is inversely proportional to its efficiency.

Public transportation is most efficient along a fixed non-stop route between A and B such that the people are forced to take the same overcrowded bus or train etc. travelling always fully loaded for maximum energy efficiency per passenger.

The more vehicles you add, the more stops you add, and the more endpoints you add, the passengers split up between the different options and each vehicle becomes less and less efficient as they now travel longer distances with fewer passengers and stop&go more. Ultimately you'll have a car for each passenger - a robot taxi maybe - which has to travel empty between customers, so it's less efficient than simply driving your own car.

Somewhere in the middle is the sweet spot which serves most at a reasonable efficiency, but the planners emphasize on the cost, so the service is poor, so most people drive their own cars.
not rated yet May 16, 2017
Skates carrying automobiles would work

Maybe. If the automobile industry would (globally!) decide to stick to a maximum build length/width/height. Which is a dubious proposition. More likely the sled will have to be overdesigned to accomodate even the biggest possible cars.

but cars carrying people would move far more people far cheaper

Which is what we'd call a "subway system". The entire point of the alternative being explored here is that you - unlike a subway system or with 'many people to a car' - remain mobile at the end of the tunnel to drive to wherever it is you are going.

But people can lie down, too. Prone or supine, you could fit a human body into a 2 foot cross section and that would be one cheap hole to bore

And it would exclude most fat people (there goes the US market) and anyone with a disability or just some mild form of claustrophobia. When you design such a system you should design for all people - not the superhealthy subset.

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