Elon Musk’s ‘Teslas in Tunnels’ in Vegas takes a step toward construction
By Jenny LescohierNovember 03, 2021
Local officials in Las Vegas have approved plans for the construction of a network of vehicle tunnels underneath Las Vegas that would connect hotel casinos with the Las Vegas Convention Center, the city’s new football stadium and McCarran International Airport.
According to a report from The Verge, the system dubbed the “Vegas Loop” will allow passengers to get from place to place in Teslas via underground tunnels designed by The Boring Company, a company founded by entrepreneur Elon Musk.
The Boring Company already operates a small version of this “Teslas in Tunnels” system underneath the Las Vegas Convention Center, which opened in June with the start of World of Concrete.
That loop is comprised of two 0.8-mile tunnels and three stations, taking visitors from one end of the sprawling convention center to the other in under two minutes. According to test results revealed on May 29, the convention center system can handle more than 4,400 passengers per hour.
The Verge reported the citywide system that was approved involves 29 miles of tunnels and 51 stations. Clark County says as many as 57,000 passengers will be able to travel through it per hour and that no taxpayer money will be spent to build it.
The Boring Company previously said that it would foot the bill for building the main tunnels but planned to ask hotel casinos or other businesses that want a station to pay for those construction costs.
Each one of those stops has to go through its own permitting process, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
The Boring Company has said the plan is to ultimately use autonomous electric vehicles (in this case, Teslas) that can drive themselves, however currently, the Teslas that run under the Convention Center have human drivers.
To explain why tunnels are a better solution than other transit options, The Boring Company states on its website:
“To solve the problem of soul-destroying traffic, roads must go 3D, which means either flying cars or tunnels are needed. Unlike flying cars, tunnels are weatherproof, out of sight, and won’t fall on your head.
“Tunnels minimize usage of valuable surface land and do not conflict with existing transportation systems. A large network of tunnels can alleviate congestion in any city; no matter how large a city grows, more levels of tunnels can be added.”
The Boring Company’s broader vision for the U.S. is a large network of tunnels many layers deep. In addition to the Las Vegas proposal, The Boring Company has been in negotiations with officials in San Antonio and Austin regarding the construction of local tunnels there.