The First Video of Elon Musk’s Futuristic Tunnel Sled in Action

Elon Musk/Instagram

Elon Musk has given the world its first real-life, non-CGI glimpse at his new venture’s tunnel sled system. The Boring Company, which has started work on a tunnel spanning Los Angeles, has conducted its first tests of an electric system that can move cars at speeds of up to 125 miles per hour. On Friday, Musk uploaded the first videos of the system in action.

The full length of the first tunnel will run from Los Angeles International Airport to Culver City, Santa Monica, Westwood, and Sherman Oaks. Musk’s team is using a boring machine called “Godot” to construct the first tunnel, a boring machine that will be “a few hundred feet long.” In the future, Musk wants to expand the system to cover the whole greater Los Angeles area, and his company has big plans to build tunnels stacked 30-deep on top of each other in a city.

The sled is all part of this plan. Cars will drive on and sink down, avoiding the hassle of building costly ramps that take up room in the city.

Here’s the test sled in action. Please note that the below video contains a lot of fast moving flashing imagery, and it’s probably best avoided if you’re prone to motion sickness or other illnesses:

At a TED talk last month, Musk showed a computer generated video of how the sled system will look when finished:

He explained how the system would integrate into a transport network:

You have to be able to integrate the entrance and exit of the tunnel seamlessly into the fabric of the city. So by having an elevator — sort of a car skate that’s on an elevator — you can integrate the entrances and exits of to the tunnel network just by using two parking spaces. And then the car gets on a skate; there’s no speed limit here, so we’re designing this to be able to operate at about 200 kilometers per hour, or about 130 miles per hour, so you should be able to get from, say, Westwood to LAX in five-six minutes.

The future can’t come soon enough.

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