Elon Musk has revealed more details about The Boring Company’s Loop after winning the bid to build the system in Chicago.
We now learn that Tesla might not only supply its electric powertrain but even build the whole ‘pods’ that will be used in the Boring Company’s tunnel.
Musk stopped in Chicago yesterday for a press conference following the announcement that his new startup won the bid to build a transit system between O’Hare airport and Downtown Chicago.
During the press conference, Mayor Rahm Emanuel highlighted the opportunity to link the airport to the city’s business district in a mere 12 minutes as unprecedented in a major city in North America.
It was also emphasized that Musk and The Boring Company are taking all the financial risk of the project.
“Chicago is giving us the opportunity to show that the technology can be useful and economically viable on a large-scale.”
The CEO told the media that they hope everyone cheers them on for this project since if they succeed, everyone wins, but if they don’t succeed, the main impact is that he and his investors will lose money.
As we previously reported, the Boring Company raised over $100 million – mostly from Musk himself earlier this year.
While it filled the startup’s coffer, it is expected that they will need to raise a lot more to complete the Chicago Loop and Musk said that he doesn’t anticipate any issue on that front.
Musk also commented on the timeline of the project for the first time.
They aim to start drilling as soon as they receive regulatory and environmental approval, which he sees happening within 3 to 4 months.
The CEO added that he was impressed by Chicago’s governing body and the limited number of agencies that they had to go through in order to get approval.
The Boring Company is currently trying to obtain approval to start digging its second tunnel in Los Angeles and it doesn’t appear to be going as smoothly.
Musk plans for the startup to start digging from both downtown Chicago and from the airport, which should result in a faster completion of the tunnel.
“Aspirationally,” Musk wants the Loop to be ready “within 18 to 24 months”, but he said that it could take longer though it’s “unlikely” going to take more than 3 years, he said.
Despite having projects already underway in Los Angeles and Baltimore, Musk added:
“We think Chicago will have the first public useful Loop from The Boring Company.”
When asked about the technological challenges to make that happen, Musk said that they are not as great as what his teams at SpaceX and Tesla have faced before.
He added that the Boring Company will use the engineering know-how of both companies and even said:
“The high-speed pods that will travel in the tunnels will be made by Tesla.”
Musk had previously said that the Boring Company planned to use Tesla’s electric powertrain, but it now sounds like Tesla could build the whole pods pictured above.
He added that Tesla already had the best electric propulsion and autonomous driving systems and that driving inside a tunnel would be much simpler for a driverless system.
Just yesterday, they released a video of a Tesla Model X accelerating on rails inside a Boring Company tunnel.
Here’s the video of the press conference: