Elon Musk’s Boring Co. Pitches Double-Wide Tunnels. Elon Musk’s tunneling startup The Boring Company is working on tunnels much wider than publicly announced, which could significantly expand the business’s reach.
The tunnels that the corporate is pitching to some potential shoppers are 21 toes in diameter, dwarfing the 12-feet tunnels the Boring Co. has constructed up to now. The wider throughway would accommodate two delivery containers facet by facet, based on a replica of a pitch obtained by Bloomberg.
Elon Musk’s Boring Co. new proposals
The new pitch for Boring Co.’s planned freight-tunnel business shows three ways to transport freight through its tunnels. One image shows a standard 8-foot tall shipping container, which barely fits into a standard Boring Co. tunnel. The next shows the same container in a much roomier 21-foot-in-diameter tunnel, and the last shows two containers fitting side by side in the 21-foot tunnel, separated by 1 foot of space.
In all cases, the containers are sitting on what is labeled as “battery-powered freight carriers.” The carriers seem to take a slim rectangular shelf that virtually extends the containers’ width.
The proposal “is completely doable” from an engineering perspective, said Anne Goodchild, founding director of the Supply Chain Transportation & Logistics Center at the University of Washington, who pointed out that many large companies, such as Boeing Co., have similar tunnels at their facilities. “You could totally move it in a tunnel.” The constraint, she mentioned, is value—together with discovering the best atmosphere, the place a tunnel works higher than a highway.
Boring Co. has marketed its tunnels as costing considerably lower than the competitors. In Las Vegas, the invoice for its venture got here to $52.5 million, with the conference heart authorities deciding on the startup largely due to its lower cost tag compared to different bids on the venture.
That benefit might erode if the corporate expands its tunnels. As width will increase, the drilling prices enhance even quicker, primarily due to disposing of the particles created by the excavation, mentioned Tom Groark, govt director of the Moles, a commerce group for the heavy building business.
But protecting the bigger tunnels at a normal 21 toes could assist in maintaining prices down as a substitute for constructing to customized widths. “They’re making the job match the machine, and that’s large,” said Groark. Normally, once tunnel boring machines finish a project, they go back to the manufacturer. Then they get modified to fit the next job at considerable expense.
The Bottom Line
In late 2016, Amazon.com Inc. received a patent for what it called “dedicated network delivery systems.” It included underground conveyor belts and vacuum tubes to move containers and packages. It is unclear if Amazon has ever critically tried to construct such a system.
Boring Co. is negotiating with California’s San Bernardino County to construct a roughly 4-mile tunnel that may join a light-rail station with the native Ontario International Airport.
The firm has pitched its wider tunnels to the county, the place Supervisor Curt Hagman is attempting to construct curiosity in a freight tunnel to alleviate congestion on busy roads around Ontario, Chino, and close-by cities, based on paperwork obtained by Bloomberg. Dubbed the Inland Port, the venture has been floated in numerous kinds for many years, and this model stays within the idea stage.