Chicago Shows Interest In Elon Musk's Underground Rail System

Elon Musk is the creative mind behind The Boring Company, a transportation service that uses underground tunnels. The goal is to decrease heavy traffic in major cities and they’ve already installed a section in Los Angeles. While the large Southern California city is the only location in the works, Chicago is thinking about adding the service.

Rahm Emanuel, Mayor of the "Windy City,” is exploring options to reduce traffic in his area. He’s already began the process of using a high-speed rail that resembles frequently used European transit. On Monday, he explored the idea of boring tunnels to create another alternative method. It would be very costly and time consuming to create, but Emanuel confirmed in a report from the Chicago Tribune that he’s contacted Musk.

"[Musk and his operation] have shown interest, and now I've asked them to come to the city of Chicago, after I sent my team out to California, Southern California to explore it and explore their interest. They are very interested, and we're going to have them now out to the city to explore further what we are doing and planning, and too see if the tunnel approach is an alternative to the ones we've been discussing."

The initial testing area will be underground at the parking lot of SpaceX’s headquarters, which is another company that Musk is CEO of. The placed the tunnel boring machine 50 feet into the ground and they will be doing more experiments with the product. Called “Godot,” they have been able to complete the first section of the tunnel on Wednesday. Among the many teases Musk has had of what The Boring Company will accomplish, this concept video was the most impressive.

As the concept video shows, cars would be lowered to a specific tunnel and be quickly transported to another section of the city. There would be numerous sections where one car can exit the tunnel system and a different vehicle can jump right in. Musk ultimately wants to have numerous levels underground -- as many levels as there are in skyscrapers.

This is a slightly different version of the tunneling system than when it was initially brought up. Instead of having two-lane traffic and people driving their vehicles, the tunnels would be smaller in diameter and it would be moved around on a platform. Having a smaller tunnel would decrease costs and make it faster to create, which is what Chicago is shooting for.

While the concept is amazing, there are some other factors to look at. Potential cave-ins and malfunctions would require enough space for a rescue vehicle to come in. There will also be many skeptics unwilling to give up control of their cars on a commute. Sinking into the ground and gliding full-speed on a platform would certainly be intimidating.

However, there’s plenty of dangers in jammed traffic as well. People drive in frustration and there are accidents that slow things down even further. Creating a tunneling system would decrease the clutter and could make commutes a less infuriating experience.

NewsPopular U.K. Grocery Store Vows To Get Rid Of Plastic By 2023

Iceland Foods has been leaning on plastics for its well-known frozen food line in the U.K. They've decided they have the technology to get rid of plastic and make their packaging recyclable—and no excuse not to.

6 days ago
NewsSaudi Arabia Plans To Invest $7 Billion In Green Energy To Cut Oil Use

Saudi Arabia's government is going to invest in eight solar and wind farm projects in 2018. The capacity is going to reach over 4 gigawatts with most of it allocated to solar energy and it's aimed to decrease the country's consumption of oil.

7 days ago
NewsWhy Popular Alcohol Companies Are Eliminating Plastic From Their Brands

Two alcohol companies behind popular brands like Johnnie Walker, Guinness, and Jameson Irish Whiskey are eliminating plastic straws and stirrers entirely. They won't be used in their offices, at events, or in future advertisements.

1 week ago
RenewablesFirst Electric And Emission-Free Barge To Launch This Summer

A Dutch company is planning to launch the first emission-free barges in Europe this summer. These vessels will be the first autonomous and fully electric barges to operate in the coastal highways between the Netherlands and Belgium.   

1 week ago
Stay Green
Sign up for our daily newsletter