Elon Musk’s Boring Company has released a video of a race between two Tesla Model 3 vehicles: one inside the company’s tunnel under Los Angeles and the other traveling the same distance but on the surface streets.
The company has a mile-long tunnel under Hawthorne near SpaceX’s headquarters in Los Angeles.
They used the tunnel to develop their boring technology and test their transportation systems that they are developing for what they have been calling a ‘Loop’.
Ultimately, the Boring Company’s goal is to alleviate traffic in cities and in order to highlight the benefits of tunnels, they released a video about a “race” between two Model 3 vehicles in that test tunnel.
Here’s the video:
The video shows a Model 3 entering the tunnel through an elevator system that the Boring Company built at the end of it and then driving at up to 127 mph inside the tunnel.
Interestingly, the Model 3 wasn’t using the “tracking wheels” system to guide the vehicle inside the narrow tunnel.
The Boring Company unveiled the system at the launch of the tunnel last year and described it as what will enable vehicles to drive inside the company’s tunnels:
Musk said that Tesla’s Autopilot was instead “pretty much” driving the vehicle inside the narrow tunnel:
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 24, 2019
The CEO didn’t elaborate on the change from what was unveiled at the launch event last year.
This is a fun marketing stunt, but it’s obviously a poor demonstration of the capabilities of tunnels vs surface streets.
The Model 3 that went in and out of the tunnel did it only from one entrance and exit point that was closed to the public. In a real-world example, the vehicle would face traffic going inside and out of the tunnel, which could back up into the tunnel itself.
This video also only shows one vehicle using the tunnel. In real-world scenarios with many vehicles, there will be a bottleneck with tunnels as there are limited ways to get in and out of them.
To be fair, the Boring Company currently has no way of doing such a demonstration.
However, I don’t think this comparison is particularly useful. A simulation of the traffic flow of a complete Boring Company Loop system would be much more useful to help people understand the potential of the concept.
Elon said that they had such a simulation during the launch last year, but he said that it “didn’t look good” enough to be shown…
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