The Boring Company is the firm established by Elon Musk, co-founder and CEO of Tesla Motors, to make hyperloop urban transportation a reality.
- Hyperloop is a high-speed transport pod that relies on magnetic levitation.
- The technology is being developed as a cleaner alternative to cars and planes.
- Infrastructure hurdles and costs are still a concern with hyperloop.
- In theory, this tech is capable of speeds in excess of 700 miles per hour.
There’s nothing boring about the idea of being transported in a sealed tube at speeds of more than 700 miles per hour. Yet, in an ironic twist befitting the outspoken CEO of Tesla Motors, and the driving force behind the concept of hyperloop travel, Elon Musk chose “Boring Company” as the name of a firm he believes will revolutionize transportation.
Like any project with grand ambitions, there is a significant cost factor involved. With this in mind, Bloomberg reports that Boring Co. recently raised more than $120-million in private investment. This is in addition to approximately $113-million raised last year to fund the project. Investment money has come in from a variety of venture capitalist firms and, on occasion, the sale of Boring Company-branded flamethrowers.
Virgin Hyperloop One is one of several companies exploring the limits of maglev transportation. (Photo: Virgin Hyperloop One)
Boring Co. and several other companies, including Virgin Hyperloop One and Hardt Hyperloop, propose that these transport networks are less expensive than high-speed train lines, and more environmentally friendly than short-haul flights. With a theoretical top speed of anywhere between 500 and 700 mph, hyperloop is also vastly quicker than traveling by car.
So, how does hyperloop work exactly? The concept uses magnetic levitation (maglev) technology and sealed tubes that have little to no air inside them. This allows either one pod, or series of them, to travel at extremely high velocities while hovering within the tube itself. Basically, magnetic forces lifting the pods are fed by electric motors, while the nearly airless tubes create less wind resistance and a greater top speed.
In Elon Musk’s proposal, solar panels could be mounted along the top of the tubes, to provide sustainable and renewable energy. The Boring Co.’s plan to link Los Angeles to San Francisco – a roughly 400-mile drive that would take about 6 hours to drive (traffic permitting) – could be done in only 35 minutes using a hyperloop route.
While it sounds like the stuff of science fiction, hyperloop could be open to the public within only a few months. The city of Las Vegas has hired Boring Co. to install a stretch of track within the expanded Las Vegas Convention Center. The route will be less than one mile long and the pods will be converted Tesla sedans and crossovers, with a seating capacity of up to 16 people. The entire hyperloop system is expected to be up and running in time for the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show held in January.
WHY THIS MATTERS
Hyperloop companies want to change the way people travel, which will be no easy feat. Having the money required to test and develop this technology is essential, and the Boring Co. will need plenty more to make its biggest projects come to fruition.