Elon Musk startup picked to build Las Vegas 'people mover'
The Las Vegas visitors authority on Tuesday picked Elon Musk's tunnel-making startup "The Boring Company" to build an underground "people mover" as part of a massive convention center expansion.
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) board of directors touted its choice as a "monumental decision that will revolutionize Southern Nevada's transportation."
The Boring Company will design, construct and operate a convention center transport system consisting of a loop of express-route tunnels capable of carrying passengers in autonomous electric vehicles at high speeds, according to LVCVA.
"Looking forward to building a Boring Company tunnel in Vegas," Musk said in a message fired off on Twitter.
"Assuming to be operational by end of year!"
A final contract for the project was to be negotiated and presented for approval at a meeting in June.
The cost was expected to range from $35 million to $55 million, depending on the route and number and size of stations.
The convention center transport system will have the potential to be expanded to connect with downtown, the airport and other parts of the city, according to the LVCVA.
The Las Vegas Convention Center will cover some 200 acres (81 hectares) when the expansion is completed.
A walk from one end to the other would stretch approximately two miles (3.2 kilometers), creating a need for "an on-property guest transportation solution," according to the visitors authority.
"It's exciting to have the Las Vegas Convention Center campus at the forefront of this historic development in our destination and we look forward to this new mass-transit solution with The Boring Company," said LVCVA board chairman Larry Brown.
Musk late last year took a break from futuristic electric cars and private space travel to unveil a low-cost tunnel he sees as a godsend for city traffic.
The billionaire behind Tesla and SpaceX put the spotlight on the a 1.14 mile (1.8 kilometer) tunnel created by his Boring Company in Southern California for about $10 million.
The sample tunnel is part of Musk's vision to have an underground network that cars, preferably Teslas, can be lowered to by lifts, then slotted into tracks and propelled along at speeds up to 150 mph (241 kmh).
Musk founded the Boring company slightly more than two years ago as a self-financed, side-endeavor to his work at Tesla and SpaceX.
The broad vision is that electric vehicles on city streets would be able to easily drop into tunnels or rise out using elevator platforms built into streets, or ramps where space allows.
© 2019 AFP