It’s a week of milestones for The Boring Company, Elon Musk’s tunneling venture. Monday marks two years since it was announced, and on Tuesday, Musk’s vision for a cross-country hyperloop becomes a little less of a dream and little more realistic to a skeptical public. The Boring Company’s two-mile test tunnel underneath Hawthorne, California will open to special guests and the media for a party and inspection. (Only Musk could successfully throw a party for digging a hole in the ground.)
Even for a Musk venture, the Boring Company’s plans are ambitious: It plans to “solve the problem of soul-destroying traffic with a futuristic, mass-transit system that would transport pedestrians, cyclists, and cars using a “car pod” method. Musk promised that experimental autonomous cars and a car elevator will be available for attendees to try on Tuesday. The Boring Company says it will be able to move a 16-passenger pod at speeds of up to 150 mph using skate technology. But Tuesday’s event has also retained a little mystery: For example, it’s still unclear if The Boring Company will have a full-speed and full-scale demo track of this transit system, though Musk has indicated it will be more than your typical unveiling.
The event will also shine a light the progress of another Boring Company venture, its burgeoning brick business. Visitors to the grand opening will also likely view the newly erected Monty Python-style watchtower, which serves as a humorous demonstration of how The Boring Company is working to make tunneling more economical. The structure’s walls are all made of “Lego-like interlocking bricks” the company creates from leftover rubble and sells for 10 cents a pop.
It’s a chance for The Boring Company to regain a sense of momentum that stalled after community pushback led the company to scrap plans for its Sepulvida tunnel. The firm remains in the running for a proposal to tunnel from Dodger Stadium to the Los Angeles subway, and to develop new transit systems in Chicago and Maryland. But the timelines on these municipal projects are also fuzzy, tomorrow should provide a window into how well its proof-of-concepts can be translated into usable infrastructure and how quickly it’s able to build.
It’s been exactly two years since Musk began hyping up The Boring Company. Could this be the beginning of a transit system that could revolutionize cross-country travel or a pipe dream cooked up while Musk was stuck in traffic? Tuesday will yield answers. You can follow along with the action with a webcast that will kick off at 8 p.m. Pacific Time, or 11 p.m. Eastern.