Las Vegas bets $48m on Elon Musk's tunnel vision

Elon Musk thinks The Boring Company can complete the tunnel by the end of 2019.

Future of transport: Musk’s Boring Company to create 150mph Chicago link The Boring Company could soon start tunneling for Chicago's new O'Hare Airport high-speed link.

The Boring Company, the tunnelling firm of Tesla CEO Elon Musk, has won a $48.6 million contract to design and build the city's planned loop of underground tunnels for moving people in autonomous electric vehicles.

The contract is for three underground passenger stations, a pedestrian tunnel and two tunnels for vehicles that would measure about one mile in length. 

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Image: The Boring Company

The Boring Company's president Steve Davis said the company is "excited to contribute to the future of Las Vegas". 

Also part of the deal are an elevator and escalators, surveillance systems, lighting, a control room, cellular, wifi, intercom, remote data, and ventilation and other safety systems. 

The loop is envisaged to move 4,400 passengers per hour and can be scaled up to support extra loads at the Las Vegas Convention Center for conferences like CES. 

The center is currently being expanded and will span 200 acres and is slated for completion by January 2021. 

As per ZDNet sister site CNET, the loop project will potentially connect downtown Las Vegas, the convention center, the Las Vegas Boulevard Resort Corridor, McCarran International Airport, and more. 

The Boring Company's selection follows the LVCVA's recommendation in March for it to construct the tunnels. 

Musk is betting his tunneling company can make it operational by the end of this year. 

"Looking forward to building a Boring Company tunnel in Vegas. Assuming to be operational by end of year!" he tweeted.  

SEE: Tech and the future of transportation (ZDNet special report) | Download the report as a PDF (TechRepublic)

Musk thinks his tunnel designs are the answer to road congestion and is argues his tunnelling tech can both cut costs and the time it takes to construct tunnels. 

The Boring Company's first test tunnel was built under Musk's SpaceX headquarters in California in December.    

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Musk predicts the tunnel will be operational by the end of 2019. 

LVCVA