AVs Will Turn Into 150mph Trains Under LA, Claims Musk

Tesla owner Elon Musk is proposing a network of tunnels where autonomous electric cars will morph into individual train carriages capable of speeds of up to 150mph under Los Angeles.

Specially adapted EVs will, according to Musk, be lifted into an underground “loop” system of tiny tunnels where they can be slotted into tracks that will whisk them away at speed to access urban destinations while reducing above ground city congestion. His company, the Boring Company, unveiled a prototype tunnel of only a mile long to demonstrate the process.

Journalists were treated to rides in a modified Tesla X albeit at only 49mph. Even at these modest speeds, many reported the experience to be very bumpy, something Musk claims will be solved when the paving used is “smooth as glass”. He also claimed the $200-$300 attachments can be fitted to any fully autonomous vehicle without affecting its performance beyond the tunnel network.

The tunnel, built under the municipality of Hawthorne where Boring Company and SpaceX are housed, is said to have cost just $10M for the one mile section. Musk claims this is far cheaper than the cost of more traditional tunneling techniques he claimed could have clocked up costs of up to $1Bn.

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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