Elon Musk Says Self-Driving Electric Cars in Tunnels Under Cities Will 'Feel Like Warp Drive'

Elon Musk has been hyping up his tunneling company on Twitter this week, revealing a project in Nevada is now nearing completion.

In a series of posts to his 38 million-plus followers, the billionaire Tesla boss referenced work done by his side-project dedicated to solving urban traffic congestion by creating an underground transportation network, The Boring Company (TBC).

After declaring that people should "embrace tunnels," Musk gave a brief explanation of what the public can expect to feel when using his autonomous high-speed system.

"Tunnels under cities with self-driving electric cars will feel like warp drive," he tweeted on Tuesday, before teasing: "First operational tunnel under Vegas almost done." On the same topic, the SpaceX CEO questioned: "Have you hugged a tunnel today?"

According to its website, TBC currently has four ongoing or proposed U.S. projects, including a test tunnel site in Hawthorne, California, and a "Loop" system that is under construction at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Nevada.

The latter is being made to provide "fast and convenient transportation for convention and trade show attendees" across the campus, while a much larger Loop development is planned to extend to the Strip, McCarran Airport and downtown Vegas.

With a typical drive from the Las Vegas Convention Center to Mandalay Bay taking up to half an hour, TBC says the Loop will slash that to approximately three minutes.

TBC describes Loop as an "all-electric, zero-emissions, high-speed underground public transportation system." It has proposed a project that will run from Washington, D.C. to Baltimore that's currently in an "environmental review and permitting" phase.

Upon completion, passengers will be taken onboard an autonomous Tesla vehicle and shot through tunnels, between stations, at up to 150 miles per hour. The cars used will include versions of Tesla's own Model S, Model 3 and Model X ranges.

The company is also working on a larger system called "hyperloop," an ultra-high-speed method of transportation that will have users traveling at 600-plus miles per hour in a "vacuum-sealed tunnel." In comparison, Loop will be used for "intra-city routes."

While TBC digs down, Tesla's expansion continues above ground, with photos posted online this week showing a massive new supercharging station—used to charge the electric cars—is currently being built in Firebaugh, California.

As reported by Electrek, filings with the Fresno County's planning agency show the new development will have 56 supercharger stalls, making it the biggest station in the world. Globally, Tesla has 1,971 supercharger stations, offering 17,467 chargers total.

This week, Musk once again shot past Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in terms of net worth, holding $108 billion as of September 15, according to Bloomberg's rich list.

Elon Musk
Tesla CEO Elon Musk talks to media as he arrives to visit the construction site of the future US electric car giant Tesla, on September 03, 2020 in Gruenheide near Berlin. ODD ANDERSEN/AFP/Getty