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Author Topic: Boring, boring ol' Elon Musk...  (Read 3747 times)

Bob Wallace

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Boring, boring ol' Elon Musk...
« on: April 27, 2017, 09:34:37 PM »
An image of Musk's boring machine seems to have leaked.  The project is much further along than most of us realized.



Think about going from San Francisco to New York in a fairly straight line.  Underneath the Sierras, Rockies and the other small ranges.  The distance through the Sierras is only about 65 miles.  Two Chunnels. 

If the route could be dug for a small percentage of present digging costs it would make it possible to do all sorts of interesting things with 'loop  routes.  City in the way?  Go under it.

The proposed high speed routes for San Francisco (including the Bay) and for LA both go underground .

Bob Wallace

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Re: Boring, boring ol' Elon Musk...
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2017, 09:41:23 PM »
Interesting video on how tunnel boring machines work.

https://youtu.be/qx_EjMlLgqY

One thing that struck me on a tunnel that is now being finished was that the completion of the drilling the machines (two, I think) would dig themselves into their graves and be abandoned.

If Musk can land first stages of rockets on barges and relaunch them a few later I bet he'll figure out to use these very expensive machines more than once.

TerryM

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Re: Boring, boring ol' Elon Musk...
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2017, 10:30:04 PM »
During a California quake, I believe I'd prefer to be above ground.


Terry

Bob Wallace

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Re: Boring, boring ol' Elon Musk...
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2017, 02:36:56 AM »
The BART tunnel under San Francisco Bay did fine in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake.

Part of the interstate highway system collapsed.

Sigmetnow

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Re: Boring, boring ol' Elon Musk...
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2017, 03:33:56 AM »
During a California quake, I believe I'd prefer to be above ground.

Terry

Actually, with a strongly built tunnel, you'd be safer underground -- nothing to fall on you.  The entire structure would be moving "with" the earth, rather than various bits of it trying to catch up....  The only problems would be right on the fault line, where the earth would be moving in different directions.
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

mati

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Re: Boring, boring ol' Elon Musk...
« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2017, 04:42:05 AM »
During a California quake, I believe I'd prefer to be above ground.
Terry

LOL well you will never be there eh? you will be hiding in your room in Windsor.
so why are you so concerned.. let me guess... rhinocherous party? weathermen?
and so it goes

TerryM

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Re: Boring, boring ol' Elon Musk...
« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2017, 08:48:24 AM »
During a California quake, I believe I'd prefer to be above ground.
Terry

LOL well you will never be there eh? you will be hiding in your room in Windsor.
so why are you so concerned.. let me guess... rhinocherous party? weathermen?


?  I own a home in Riverside California where I came of age & remained most of the time until I was 35 and moved permanently to Las Vegas. Windsor seems nice but I've only driven through a few times. 3 of my 5 wives were from Riverside & my first two businesses were in Riverside and Norco. I've been in Cambridge, Galt region, since 2004.


Lived through a lot of quakes in California, but never experienced any damage. Riverside experienced decades of problems with their major sewer lines and ended up replacing the lot with much tougher materials.


When orangeburg pipes were in vogue for residential sewers, they'd crumble. Next they tried PVC, but it would get squeezed so that a 4" line would be 6" by 1". Finally settled on 4' sections of 1/2" thick vitrified clay tile, joined by flexible rubber connectors.(Business #2 was as a plumbing contractor) 8)


If the tunnel walls are of heavy enough construction there shouldn't be a problem, but I'd still rather be on the surface when things start shaking.


Terry
BTW, Missing the reference to Rinocherous party? & weathermen - is the spelling a hint?

Bob Wallace

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Re: Boring, boring ol' Elon Musk...
« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2017, 04:54:40 PM »
I so much want to see what the cost per foot/mile/km/whatever is likely to be for Musk's tunnels.

If the Hyperloop works.  (That has to be proven first.)

If the 'loop works then it's going to be interesting to see if it would be less expensive to run the tubes overland with the real estate, permitting, and column costs.  Or simply go underground where the land is free (?).

If you own property in the US you (or someone) owns the mineral rights below your property.  Do you own the potential tunnel space?

Imagine a subway system that runs faster than a jet airliner.  Around the world.

Sigmetnow

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Re: Boring, boring ol' Elon Musk...
« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2017, 09:56:22 PM »
Elon Musk unveils concept behind ‘The Boring Company’ featuring Tesla vehicles speeding through tunnels on mobile platforms
https://electrek.co/2017/04/28/elon-musk-the-boring-company-concept-video/

A wild concept –– but so was the hyperloop! ––  this idea would allow ICE vehicles, as well as EVs, to travel emissions-free at high speeds across town via tunnels.
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

Sigmetnow

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Re: Boring, boring ol' Elon Musk...
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2017, 11:09:27 PM »
Elon Musk unveils concept behind ‘The Boring Company’ featuring Tesla vehicles speeding through tunnels on mobile platforms
https://electrek.co/2017/04/28/elon-musk-the-boring-company-concept-video/

A wild concept –– but so was the hyperloop! ––  this idea would allow ICE vehicles, as well as EVs, to travel emissions-free at high speeds across town via tunnels.

William LeGate:  @elonmusk Serious question: are you actually building this, or is this still a joke? Hard to tell with you…

Elon Musk:  @williamlegate Couldn't agree more

https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/858063290039115777
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

Sigmetnow

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Re: Boring, boring ol' Elon Musk...
« Reply #10 on: May 03, 2017, 09:56:30 PM »
From 2012, referencing the tunnel being added in the San Francisco Bay area, just 0.9 miles from the active Hayward Fault.

How to Build a 21st-Century Tunnel in Earthquake Country
https://www.wired.com/2012/08/21st-century-tunnel-earthquake/
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

Sigmetnow

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Re: Boring, boring ol' Elon Musk...
« Reply #11 on: May 12, 2017, 09:24:58 PM »
It appears he's repurposing the test hyperloop "pusher" as a sled that will eventually carry cars through the tunnels.

Elon Musk unveils prototype ‘electric sled’ and first pictures inside his tunnels under construction in LA
Even though Elon Musk described his new Boring Company as “a few engineers and interns”, it seems to be moving incredibly fast.

They took delivery of their first boring machine last month and Musk now unveils new pictures of the entry hole, staging area for the machine, and the start of his network of tunnels under Los Angeles.

He even announced the first few routes:

“Full length of first tunnel will run from LAX to Culver City, Santa Monica, Westwood and Sherman Oaks. Future tunnels will cover all of greater LA.”
...
https://electrek.co/2017/05/12/elon-musk-electric-sled-tunnel-boring-company/

People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

Bob Wallace

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Re: Boring, boring ol' Elon Musk...
« Reply #12 on: May 12, 2017, 09:57:37 PM »
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

Sigmetnow

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Re: Boring, boring ol' Elon Musk...
« Reply #13 on: May 12, 2017, 10:20:19 PM »
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.


Couldn't have said it better myself. ;D
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

Bob Wallace

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Re: Boring, boring ol' Elon Musk...
« Reply #14 on: May 12, 2017, 11:02:13 PM »
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

I think I might have seen someone say that at one time.

Hummmm... Perhaps I should pull a Trump and claim I just made that up.
---

I don't want to pour ice water on Elon's idea of moving cars rapidly around cities, but if he's got a much cheaper way to dig tunnels how about increasing the passenger volume.

Imagine super-fast subway systems that moved from specific point to point with few/no stops.  Let other public and personal transport methods get people to and from the end points.  Perhaps a line that made two stops on Staten Island, about one third from each end, and then terminated midtown Manhattan (or some higher volume traffic route).  Or the East Bay to Silicon Valley.

Oh, that would be the Hyperloop wouldn't it?   ;)

Desirable places to live suffer from housing shortages and very high purchase/rent prices.  And that makes it a big problem for those who work in those areas but don't make a lot of money.  A very fast and affordable transportation would make it possible for lower wage people to live in a nice place for an affordable price and not spend huge amounts of their lives commuting long distances.

Looks like when others get the 'loop ready to go Elon's company will be ready to drill the tunnels they need.  I'm thinking one under the major mountain ranges between the two coasts.  Let your freak 'loop fly....

Bob Wallace

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Re: Boring, boring ol' Elon Musk...
« Reply #15 on: May 12, 2017, 11:14:32 PM »
Suppose we really screw up and let global warming get way out of line.  Living large parts of our lives underground is one way to deal with very high surface temperatures.

Elon's company can bore us some new cities.

TerryM

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Re: Boring, boring ol' Elon Musk...
« Reply #16 on: May 12, 2017, 11:39:02 PM »
According to LA weekly:
No tunnel. or hole (>5') permits have been granted since one for "annual trench excavation/activity permit" expired on July 27 2015.


Can't dig a >5' hole in Ca. without OSHA inspectors & bunches of permits, which brings up the question of where the pictured hole and tunnel actually are.
Space-x apparently did wan't a pedestrian tunnel under a street to their parking lot, but that one was 30' wide by 50' feet long, and no permits have been applied for yet.


OSHA takes holes and trenches very seriously. Much of LA is built on shaky sand that can liquefy.


 http://www.laweekly.com/news/elon-musks-tunnel-isnt-under-the-405-and-it-doesnt-have-state-approval-7945503


Terry

crandles

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Re: Boring, boring ol' Elon Musk...
« Reply #17 on: May 13, 2017, 01:02:07 AM »

Can't dig a >5' hole in Ca. without OSHA inspectors & bunches of permits, which brings up the question of where the pictured hole and tunnel actually are.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2017-02-16/elon-musk-is-really-boring
The pit is at least 15 feet deep and more than 50 feet wide. It’s in a nondescript lot at Crenshaw Boulevard and West 120th Street, not far from Los Angeles International Airport. If not for the huge pile of dirt next to it, you’d never know it was there. Seen from the top of the parking garage at SpaceX,

Seems quite specific.

Musk chose the SpaceX parking lot as the site of his first dig, mostly because it was convenient and he could legally do so without city permits. The plan is to expand the current hole into a ramp designed for a large tunnel boring machine and then start digging horizontally once the machine is 50 feet or so below ground, which would make it low enough to clear gas and sewer lines and to be undetectable at the surface. The company, such as it is, is working on securing permits and hopes to have them by the time the tunnel hits the property line.

Seems at odds with the LA times article.

Mostly, Musk was going to approach it in his usual way: He’d figure it out as he went along.

Figuring out late that he needs some permits might be a bad start.

Bob Wallace

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Re: Boring, boring ol' Elon Musk...
« Reply #18 on: May 13, 2017, 02:48:18 AM »
Figuring out late that he needs some permits might be a bad start.


. The company ... is working on securing permits and hopes to have them by the time the tunnel hits the property line.

You might call it "just in time" planning.  Rather than wait for some period of time for the permit Boring, Inc. can start testing its machine now.  There may be some risk of not getting a permit, but I would expect some talented attorneys spoke with the LA Planning Department early on.

Sigmetnow

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Re: Boring, boring ol' Elon Musk...
« Reply #19 on: May 13, 2017, 03:43:12 AM »
Several outlets say something like this:
He doesn't need permits to dig on private company property, but he would need to get them from the city of Los Angeles should he want to dig beyond SpaceX's campus....
https://www.engadget.com/2017/04/28/elon-musk-wants-to-build-a-traffic-skipping-tunnel-utopia/
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

Bruce Steele

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Re: Boring, boring ol' Elon Musk...
« Reply #20 on: May 13, 2017, 06:16:15 AM »
I know the 405, I have been stuck in traffic there plenty of times in my life. I don't fly much anymore but I understand the anxiety of sitting dead stop in traffic wondering if I can make the last five miles before I miss my flight. That doesn't mean I can understand building a tube from Westwood to LAX for my new Tesla, Maserati , or Lamborghini so I don't have to deal with the inconvenience of living in LA. Living in LA should come with the problem of sharing the same small/ large area with millions of other people . Part of the reality , part of the turf, rich , poor , whatever color  or persuasion .
 So the tube for the über wealthy is for me offensive . For me the idea that everyone is inconvenienced , together , is way more appealing than the notion that enough money can get you to LAX so you can catch your privately chartered Lear jet to fly to your favorite island getaway , horse ridding lesson or " business meeting"  while avoiding the traffic the rest of us get stuck with.
 Screw Elon's vision for the -1%

TerryM

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Re: Boring, boring ol' Elon Musk...
« Reply #21 on: May 13, 2017, 06:59:33 AM »
Several outlets say something like this:
He doesn't need permits to dig on private company property, but he would need to get them from the city of Los Angeles should he want to dig beyond SpaceX's campus....
https://www.engadget.com/2017/04/28/elon-musk-wants-to-build-a-traffic-skipping-tunnel-utopia/
I don't believe the bolded is correct.
I'm no lawyer, but I have dug holes in 4 states & recall either waiting for permits and putting up what I considered high bonds, or starting the job late Friday & having everything cleaned up before Monday morning.
I was a contractor, not an owner, so different rules may apply.
I did contemplate digging an oil change trench and was advised I'd never get a permit so I dropped the idea. That would have been built on property I did own in rural San Bernardino County - not a hotbed of over regulation.


I haven't been following the Boring story, but Bruce seems to have it wrapped up. Toys for the rich, traffic jams for the rest.


Terry

Bob Wallace

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Re: Boring, boring ol' Elon Musk...
« Reply #22 on: May 13, 2017, 07:24:48 AM »
A difference between permits to dig on one's own property and permits to dig under property one does not own?

I would imagine that it wouldn't be hard to pull a permit to excavate a hole in land you owned.  I had no problem pulling a permit for six foot diameter hole that went down about 30'.  Drilling under other people's buildings, freeways, etc. - that's something different.


TerryM

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Re: Boring, boring ol' Elon Musk...
« Reply #23 on: May 13, 2017, 07:28:41 AM »
A difference between permits to dig on one's own property and permits to dig under property one does not own?

I would imagine that it wouldn't be hard to pull a permit to excavate a hole in land you owned.  I had no problem pulling a permit for six foot diameter hole that went down about 30'.  Drilling under other people's buildings, freeways, etc. - that's something different.


Bob, I think the issue is that you did have to pull the permit.
Terry

Bob Wallace

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Re: Boring, boring ol' Elon Musk...
« Reply #24 on: May 13, 2017, 08:24:09 AM »
Yes, Terry.

I'm suggesting that Boring/Tesla could have pulled a permit to dig on their own property and are waiting for permits to extend their dig past their property.


TerryM

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Re: Boring, boring ol' Elon Musk...
« Reply #25 on: May 13, 2017, 10:57:46 AM »
Yes, Terry.

I'm suggesting that Boring/Tesla could have pulled a permit to dig on their own property and are waiting for permits to extend their dig past their property.


The LA Weekly article indicated no permit or permit applications since the last one expired in July 2015, and that date I believe is earlier than Elon's Boring phase.


Is there information re. the diameter of the tunnel. the material it will be made from, whether bedding material is required etc.?
This looks like a very expensive way to get to LAX.


Terry

Sigmetnow

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Re: Boring, boring ol' Elon Musk...
« Reply #26 on: May 13, 2017, 02:28:45 PM »
Part of the disagreement here may simply be semantics.  Notifying the quasi-governmental "call before you dig" line and waiting the required day or two to have the local utilities come out and mark the locations of their lines across your property is not, to my mind, a "permit."  Exactly what and where you plan to dig is left to you. 

Digging on property that does not belong to you is where the municipal overlords get to have their say.  In this case, they may be waiting to see the results of Musk's trial dig before issuing further permissions.  If things go wrong here, it's SpaceX that has to deal with it.  Musk himself intends to find things out as he goes along; he believes tunnels can be dug much faster and cheaper than currently done.  But: he has said that his tunnels will be much smaller than usual (made possible in part due to the risk-reduction and emission-free factors of the sled concept compared to individual vehicle operation), and eventually the tunnel shoring would be done while the digging proceeds -- no stopping one to do the other.
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

Sigmetnow

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Re: Boring, boring ol' Elon Musk...
« Reply #27 on: May 13, 2017, 03:55:50 PM »
I know the 405, I have been stuck in traffic there plenty of times in my life. I don't fly much anymore but I understand the anxiety of sitting dead stop in traffic wondering if I can make the last five miles before I miss my flight. That doesn't mean I can understand building a tube from Westwood to LAX for my new Tesla, Maserati , or Lamborghini so I don't have to deal with the inconvenience of living in LA. Living in LA should come with the problem of sharing the same small/ large area with millions of other people . Part of the reality , part of the turf, rich , poor , whatever color  or persuasion .
 So the tube for the über wealthy is for me offensive . For me the idea that everyone is inconvenienced , together , is way more appealing than the notion that enough money can get you to LAX so you can catch your privately chartered Lear jet to fly to your favorite island getaway , horse ridding lesson or " business meeting"  while avoiding the traffic the rest of us get stuck with.
 Screw Elon's vision for the -1%

Why do you assume Musk's tunnels will only be used by the wealthiest 1%?  That's like saying cheaper rocket launches will never benefit you -- when in fact it will make possible SpaceX's deployment of over 4,000 satellites to provide cheap internet service that covers the globe, for example.

Musk may have started out by making EVs for the 1%, but he did that to fund the development of the mass-market EV we'll see this July.  He looked at roofing and developed a lighter, longer-lasting, more durable alternative that generates clean energy and ties to batteries that can help stabilize the grid, power your home in emergencies, and end up costing less than even a home's lifetime of cheap asphalt roofing.

 Tesla's mission is to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy. 

Musk has a home near LA, and he travels by car just like you.  He wants to remove much more than 1% of the cars from the 405 -- and you can be sure the county commissioners want that, too, and will insist on it before they give permission for the project.
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

TerryM

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Re: Boring, boring ol' Elon Musk...
« Reply #28 on: May 13, 2017, 04:28:05 PM »
SigM


Assuming LA Weekly is reporting accurately we have to assume:


1) - That digging permits are required in Space X's local.
2) - That Space x is aware that digging permits are required.
3) - That no permits have been applied for since Elon began his Boring initiative.
4) - The permit(s) previously pulled was not a call before digging OK, was for work on Space x land.


Terry


Bruce Steele

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Re: Boring, boring ol' Elon Musk...
« Reply #29 on: May 13, 2017, 05:35:02 PM »
SigM, I figured when you locate your tunnel at Westwood ( average household worth > 1 mill, average household income a little less than 200,000) with Brentwood , and Beverly Hills nearby it was obvious who your target demographic was. With LAX at the other end it becomes even more apparent Elon's tunnel is designed to service the lifestyles of the rich and famous with the associated energy consumptive habits included in that income demographic.
 I am not a believer in trickle down economics. I am also somehow not understanding the point of taking expensive cars to an airport parking garage when a very fast train could accomplish the same
purpose and might service better a more inclusive demographic? So maybe those airport shuttle buses will take up a fair share of the ridership on the tunnel if it is  actually  built but it is still just a way to make flying out of LA easier. I thought NOT flying was kinda like NOT eatting beef .
 Maybe I'm lost .
 Small is beautiful
 

TerryM

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Re: Boring, boring ol' Elon Musk...
« Reply #30 on: May 13, 2017, 05:43:22 PM »
So many questions:


With small tunnels to accommodate the small sleds, will pairs of tunnels be required for two way traffic?
What propulsion system accelerates the sleds to such speeds, are G-Forces a problem?
The sled appears to have rubber tires, steel to steel is more efficient & no blowouts at speed.
It never rains in California, it pours, man it pours. Lyrics aside flash floods are not rare.
Large ventilation shafts will be required, how far apart are these, will they interfere with surface infrastructure?
Loading cars side by side in a long streamlined sled structure would be more efficient, why one car/sled facing forward?
Oil wells, gas pockets, and tar pits pockmark LA & Orange Counties, will these be avoided or will the tunnels attempt to drive straight through?
Who are the prospective clients? Airport parking is and will be expensive, most would prefer leaving the car behind.
If it's cheap and popular won't there be Disney Land like lines waiting for the ride?


If it were anyone but Musk, I'd be shouting Vapor Ware. It just doesn't make sense from so many prospectives.
Any answers to any of the questions I've posed might help me to understand.
Thanks
Terry

TerryM

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Re: Boring, boring ol' Elon Musk...
« Reply #31 on: May 13, 2017, 05:46:49 PM »
Bruce
Sorry for my cross post.
The points you raise are valid - particularly the parking problem. Why take a car to LAX?
Terry

oren

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Re: Boring, boring ol' Elon Musk...
« Reply #32 on: May 13, 2017, 06:01:20 PM »
From a different perspective: Is fast tunnel-digging technology a good thing? I think the answer is yes. It could enable some mass transit projects to move forward. I don't worry much about the chosen proof-of-concept location though I agree it's weird. Give it time, and maybe something good will come out of it.

Bob Wallace

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Re: Boring, boring ol' Elon Musk...
« Reply #33 on: May 13, 2017, 06:04:41 PM »
I am not a believer in trickle down economics.

How about trickle down manufacturing?

Remember how expensive laptops were early on?  How about cell phones?  How about large screen TVs?

Are you aware how much their prices have dropped as they matured?  The first few units are typically a lot more expensive to produce.  Lots of development costs and inefficiencies that jack prices up high.

Put the first tunnel where there are people with extra money to pay for its use.  If it works and is popular then look for the next best place to install one.  At some point, if the idea works, there will be lots of tunnels being bored at the same time and lots of neighborhoods being connected, not just the rich ones.

Bob Wallace

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Re: Boring, boring ol' Elon Musk...
« Reply #34 on: May 13, 2017, 06:28:47 PM »
So many questions:


With small tunnels to accommodate the small sleds, will pairs of tunnels be required for two way traffic?
What propulsion system accelerates the sleds to such speeds, are G-Forces a problem?
The sled appears to have rubber tires, steel to steel is more efficient & no blowouts at speed.
It never rains in California, it pours, man it pours. Lyrics aside flash floods are not rare.
Large ventilation shafts will be required, how far apart are these, will they interfere with surface infrastructure?
Loading cars side by side in a long streamlined sled structure would be more efficient, why one car/sled facing forward?
Oil wells, gas pockets, and tar pits pockmark LA & Orange Counties, will these be avoided or will the tunnels attempt to drive straight through?
Who are the prospective clients? Airport parking is and will be expensive, most would prefer leaving the car behind.
If it's cheap and popular won't there be Disney Land like lines waiting for the ride?


If it were anyone but Musk, I'd be shouting Vapor Ware. It just doesn't make sense from so many prospectives.
Any answers to any of the questions I've posed might help me to understand.
Thanks
Terry

Pairs of tunnels make sense.  The tunnels are too small for two tracks.

Perhaps sets of five tunnels, two going and two coming and a fifth in the middle for service access.

Propulsion?  Mag-lev?

Both LA and SF have subterranean transportation systems.  LA a subway and SF's BART system runs underground much of its route.  Including under San Francisco Bay.  All that geological stuff has already been dealt with.

The tunnel is fairly small.  There probably is not room for two cars, side by side.

Here's my take.  We won't see a lot of these car tunnels.  But if Boring demonstrates that the cost of a tunnel could be very significantly cheaper by making the tunnels smaller (and whatever other tricks Elon has in mind) I can see the development of very fast subway systems. 

Gosh, I've circled back to the Hyperloop, haven't I?    :o

Not Hyperloop in terms of mostly evacuated air and 700 MPH, but streamlined cars with good aerodynamics traveling at over 100 miles an hour.  High speed rail types speeds.  Very high speeds would be limited by acceleration and deceleration comfort issues.

I'm a huge admirer of Musk, but I don't think he's right when it comes to cars. 

I think it far more likely that we see large corporations owning/operating robotaxi systems than individual Tesla owners putting their cars to work as robotaxis when they aren't using them.  If I purchase a 'entry luxury' or luxury level car I'm not going to want to have strangers riding around in it.  Perhaps some people will as it may be the only way they can afford a Tesla.  But I suspect that number will be way small.  I see companies running robotaxis that cost far less to manufacture and are more useful as taxis.

And I think robotaxis will allow for 'spontaneous carpools' and shared taxi rides which will greatly lower the number of cars on our roads.  Take away a lot of the congestion and those who want their personal car at the airport (for some strange reason) will just drive there.  Most will opt to leave their car in their garage and take a robotaxi, I would guess.


TerryM

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Re: Boring, boring ol' Elon Musk...
« Reply #35 on: May 13, 2017, 07:16:40 PM »
I think I'm in total agreement, but for one small point. When I was speaking of cars side by side, I was referring to them being at 90 degrees to the direction of travel, within a streamlined sled. Drive on, drive off & leave your elevator behind.


I don't see the utility of the system as presented. High speed rail, as is now available in Germany, France, Japan and China allows commuters to live far from wherever their work may take them. The elevated systems used in China, with maglev, already provide many of the advantages that Musk imagines for tunnels, and it's already beta tested. Why reinvent the horseless carriage when super trains are already rolling, (or floating?)?


Terry

Bruce Steele

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Re: Boring, boring ol' Elon Musk...
« Reply #36 on: May 13, 2017, 07:18:26 PM »
Terry, I think the thousands of abandoned oil wells in LA are a valid concern. I know that here in the SB area there has been a long running effort to cap old leaking wells along the coast. Problem is they weren't ever well documented and mapped in the first place so they keep turning up even after the problem has been fixed. I think digging a tunnel at fifty feet anywhere in LA will surely require cutting off and resealing old abandoned wells. I don't know what you do with active wells. Just running a boring machine straight through them risks wreaking the boring machine or releasing methane at volume into your tunnel.
 The planned tunnel is below sea level and sea level rise by 2100 may result in flooding above the tunnel route. This will also be an issue for the 405.
 I do have a certain amount of faith these issues have already been in the planning process and Elon is
to be sure no fool.
 I am attaching an article with some oil well maps for LA.  These are the known ones, there are others.

https://la.curbed.com/2014/7/29/10067206/mapping-all-3000-of-los-angeless-active-oil-wells

Bob, I know everyone loves their big screens, instant communications, and laptops... Maybe some people love precision weponry but I'm not convinced this has resulted in less energy consumption.

 

TerryM

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Re: Boring, boring ol' Elon Musk...
« Reply #37 on: May 13, 2017, 07:56:12 PM »

Wow Bruce, some maps!Oil wells on oil wells. With tar and gas in between.
If it were anyone other than Eldon I'd assume this was bs. As it is I'm undecided.
Terry

Bob Wallace

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Re: Boring, boring ol' Elon Musk...
« Reply #38 on: May 13, 2017, 08:14:29 PM »
referring to them being at 90 degrees to the direction of travel, within a streamlined sled. Drive on, drive off & leave your elevator behind

If the cars were short enough (or the tunnel wider) this would make sense. 

The elevated systems used in China, with maglev

Elevated tracks might be more expensive.  Plus much harder to permit.  Getting routes worked out when the footings have to be put on someone's land can be tough.


I don't see the utility of the system as presented.

I don't see it as Elon's best idea.  But I am interested in seeing how much they can bring down the cost of tunneling.  Running a Hyperloop from SF to NYC would involve slowing down a lot through mountain ranges (or taking long routes around them).  A ~45 mile tunnel under the Sierras should allow a 'loop to run full speed all the way east to Utah where the next tunnel would open the route to the Rockies.  And on....

The planned tunnel is below sea level and sea level rise by 2100 may result in flooding above the tunnel route.

Tunnels run under bodies of water.  Chunnel.  SF Bay BART.

I suspect LA will end up getting protected by a seawall where needed.  Unlike Florida the ground is solid enough to permit working seawalls.

Bob, I know everyone loves their big screens, instant communications, and laptops... Maybe some people love precision weponry but I'm not convinced this has resulted in less energy consumption.

My previous CRT monitor pulled 150 watts.  I'm now using a much larger flat screen that uses 45 watts.  I ditched my desktop and use a netbook hooked to external monitor and wireless keyboard/trackball and I save major watts.  Our technology is, in general, getting a lot more efficient.

Just a cost example.  When I was in high school my family bought our first color TV.  In current dollars they paid about $3,000 for a TV with no remote, a single speaker (no stereo/surround), modest sized screen (19"?) and not very good image quality.

I could now buy a 65" curved screen 4k TV with remote and wifi for $1,200.



Sigmetnow

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Re: Boring, boring ol' Elon Musk...
« Reply #39 on: May 13, 2017, 08:31:23 PM »
The physical and financial obstacles are, without a doubt, profound.  But:

1. Despite the smog and the traffic jams, Los Angelenos love their cars.
2. Mass transit has never caught on in a big way, there.
3. Instead of waiting a decade or two for EVs and computer-controlled traffic to become ubiquitous -- and, short of a diktat -- the "mass transit of cars" might be the one thing that works for them to eliminate congestion and reduce emissions.  It's a way to remove large numbers of ICE cars from the LA highway, and transport them using clean energy to a point near their destination.  No big, expensive subway stations to build, either.  Regardless of how ICE/EV/ride-sharing develops over time, the system can accommodate them all.  The video even includes a mini-bus-like "pod" for walkers and bike riders who need a lift across town. :)
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

Bob Wallace

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Re: Boring, boring ol' Elon Musk...
« Reply #40 on: May 13, 2017, 08:50:01 PM »
I'm a big subway fan.  I wonder if going to smaller individual cars might be a better solution. 

Imagine going into the station and there are multiple "platforms" where cars with specific destinations are waiting.  At some frequency cars from Station A leave for Station M and from Station A to Station N and Station Z. No stops along the way, just get on the track and go at full speed.

I'm not thinking about the sort of subway systems that run within urban areas, but feeder lines from well outside the city.  I don't know where the traffic patterns are in LA, but let's assume most of it is from the points I picked to downtown.



It's like other subway systems that have multiple routes but this would be an express system.  No stops between origin and terminus. 

Who's going to drive their own car when they could get in a pod and arrive at their destination in short minutes.  And for less money.

Robotaxis for the last mile(s).

gerontocrat

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Re: Boring, boring ol' Elon Musk...
« Reply #41 on: May 13, 2017, 09:18:09 PM »
Not so many years ago often the journey was of greater value (on many levels) than the journey. You can keep your sanforised and deodorised tunnels. I, dinosaur, have spoken.

Bob Wallace

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Re: Boring, boring ol' Elon Musk...
« Reply #42 on: May 13, 2017, 09:23:50 PM »
Not so many years ago often the journey was of greater value (on many levels) than the journey. You can keep your sanforised and deodorised tunnels. I, dinosaur, have spoken.

I still take journeys like that.  But never in crowded cities.  There is nothing enjoyable (for me) in bumper to bumper congestion.

Actually, I'm really looking forward to self-driving cars so that I can take a nice long scenic drive and watch the scenery rather than the edges of the road and what other drivers are doing.

Sigmetnow

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Re: Boring, boring ol' Elon Musk...
« Reply #43 on: May 17, 2017, 12:47:07 PM »
Apparently the key is to make the tunnel small, and incorporate an electric sled or a Hyperloop.  :)
Also, keep in mind that mines go much deeper than our tallest buildings.

Elon Musk: All the answers to questions you never asked about holes in the ground https://www.boringcompany.com/faq/

For those who like to read Twitter replies: https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/864719823112032256

To solve the problem of soul-destroying traffic, roads must go 3D, which means either flying cars or tunnels. Unlike flying cars, tunnels are weatherproof, out of sight and won't fall on your head. A large network of road tunnels many levels deep would fix congestion in any city, no matter how large it grew (just keep adding levels). The key to making this work is increasing tunneling speed and dropping costs by a factor of 10 or more – this is the goal of The Boring Company. Fast to dig, low cost tunnels would also make Hyperloop adoption viable and enable rapid transit across densely populated regions, enabling travel from New York to Washington DC in less than 30 minutes
Why tunnels?
To alleviate traffic, transportation corridors, like the buildings that feed into them, must expand into three dimensions. One option is to “go up” with flying cars. However, flying cars have issues with weather, noise, and generally increase anxiety levels of those below them. The other option is to “go down” and build tunnels. The benefits are:

There is no practical limit to how many layers of tunnels can be built, so any level of traffic can be addressed.
Tunnels are weatherproof.
Tunnel construction/operation is silent to anyone on the surface.
Tunnels don’t divide communities with lanes and barriers.
...
What is an electric sled, and why use it?
An electric sled is a flat plate on wheels propelled by an electric motor.  As discussed above, the electric skate allows a large reduction in tunnel diameter, in addition to:

Increased safety. A fully stabilized autonomous vehicle eliminates human error and the ability to “swerve off-course.”
Increased speed. The controlled autonomous sled allows for speeds of 125 miles per hour in urban settings.
Multiple payloads. The electric skate can transport automobiles, goods, and/or people. And if one adds a vacuum shell, it is now a Hyperloop Pod which can travel at 600+ miles per hour.
Eliminating hazardous emissions. Electric sleds are zero-emission vehicles, and thus do not output hazardous gases like internal combustion cars do.  Every mile the sled transports a gas-burning vehicle becomes a zero-emission mile.

What about earthquakes?
Tunnels, when designed properly, are known to be one of the safest places to be during an earthquake. From a structural safety standpoint, the tunnel moves uniformly with the ground, in contrast to surface structures.  Additionally, a large amount of earthquake damage occurs from falling debris, which does not apply inside tunnels. Some examples:

1994 Northridge Earthquake: no damage to LA Subway tunnels
1989 Loma Prieta (Northern California) Earthquake: no damage to tunnels, which were then used to transport rescue personnel
1985 Mexico City Earthquake: no damage to tunnels, which were then used to transport rescue personnel
...
What do you do with all that dirt?
In typical tunneling projects, excavated dirt is shipped offsite to disposal locations. This process is costly, time-consuming, noisy, and can be environmentally hazardous. The Boring Company is investigating technologies that will recycle the earth into useful bricks to be used to build structures.  This is not a new concept, as buildings have been constructed from Earth for thousands of years including, according to recent evidence, the Pyramids.  These bricks can potentially be used as a portion of the tunnel lining itself, which is typically built from concrete. Since concrete production accounts for 4.5% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, earth bricks would reduce both environmental impact and tunneling costs.
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

Sigmetnow

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Re: Boring, boring ol' Elon Musk...
« Reply #44 on: May 26, 2017, 09:38:56 PM »
The Boring Company website added renderings of the pod to be used in the tunnels when a car is not needed.  Apparently Musk favors this over the "mini-bus" concept he wrote about earlier.
https://www.boringcompany.com/media/

Elon Musk’s Boring Company releases new images of its electric vehicle concept for passengers
...
The vehicle first appeared in the video of the unveiling of Musk’s vision for tunnels in cities.

There were two kinds of “electric sleds” in the video. One without anything on top but a platform in order for cars to park on it before it goes into the tunnels to connect to an electric railing that propels the vehicle.

The other vehicle had a passenger enclosure and unlike the other sled, it has wheels which mean it should be able to drive on the streets too.
...
Earlier this month, we learned that this new electric vehicle is not only just a possible application enabled by the Boring Company’s tunnels, but actually an important part of making the tunnels possible in the first place.

The company aims to reduce the cost of boring tunnels and one of their main ideas to achieve a significant cost reduction is to reduce the diameter – something they think will be possible by stabilizing the vehicles on sleds.

If the vehicle is locked on a rail instead of swerving between two lines, the tunnel’s diameter can be much smaller. Musk estimates that reducing the diameter alone will reduce tunneling costs by 3-4 times.

In a sense, it sounds like this vehicle could also replace Tesla’s planned electric minibus that Musk announced in Tesla’s product lineup last year.

The minibus was supposed to be built on the Model X chassis and feature Tesla’s latest autonomous features in order to enable a point-to-point public transport system, but Musk said earlier this month that he wasn’t so sure “if that’s actually going to be something that makes sense in the shared, fully autonomous environment.”

A higher density of passengers would help for traffic, but Musk thinks that the cost of a fully autonomous shared fleet would be so low that a bus, even if autonomous, wouldn’t be economically attractive anymore.
...
https://electrek.co/2017/05/26/elon-musk-boring-company-electric-skate-concept/
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Boring, boring ol' Elon Musk...
« Reply #45 on: June 19, 2017, 07:01:18 PM »
Elon Musk is optimistic about making his vision for tunnels happen after talks with LA mayor
While Elon Musk’s project to build networks of tunnels with electric sleds transporting cars and people at high-speed underneath cities is ambitious in itself from a technology standpoint, several naysayers claimed it would be infeasible from a permitting standpoint.

Musk understands the challenge and he went as far as saying that getting “the permits is harder than the technology.”

Nonetheless, he said that he is optimistic about the project after having talked with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who could possibly facilitate such a project.
...
Musk admitted that the odds of success may be low, but he added that the alternative is just to accept to sit in traffic forever....

He also said that they already have the permits to drill in Hawthorne, where they started the first tunnel. Musk has a lot of influence in the small city inside LA county since SpaceX is a major job creator in the area.

Hawthorne is located southwest of downtown Los Angeles – near LAX international airport....
https://electrek.co/2017/06/19/elon-musk-tunnel-boring-los-angeles/
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Boring, boring ol' Elon Musk...
« Reply #46 on: June 27, 2017, 09:00:38 PM »
O'Hare airport to downtown Chicago, Illinois.

Rahm Emanuel, Elon Musk talk tunnel for O'Hare-downtown high-speed rail
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/politics/ct-rahm-emanuel-elon-musk-high-speed-rail-met-20170626-story.html
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numerobis

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Re: Boring, boring ol' Elon Musk...
« Reply #47 on: June 27, 2017, 10:55:26 PM »
I had thought that the principle cost in subways was the stations, not the tunnels. Is The Boring Company doing anything about that? It seems that their principle cost savings is from making smaller tunnels, and efficiencies from scale of digging a lot of tunnels.

Sigmetnow

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Re: Boring, boring ol' Elon Musk...
« Reply #48 on: June 28, 2017, 02:54:12 PM »
I had thought that the principle cost in subways was the stations, not the tunnels. Is The Boring Company doing anything about that? It seems that their principle cost savings is from making smaller tunnels, and efficiencies from scale of digging a lot of tunnels.

The concept video, included in this article:
https://www.engadget.com/2017/04/28/elon-musk-wants-to-build-a-traffic-skipping-tunnel-utopia/
shows cars entering and exiting the tunnels using only a few parking spaces at street level.  No "stations" needed.  :)
« Last Edit: June 28, 2017, 05:04:25 PM by Sigmetnow »
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Boring, boring ol' Elon Musk...
« Reply #49 on: June 28, 2017, 05:03:57 PM »
Well, I'd agree that his communications are cautious -- he always seems to be thinking about much more than he's saying.  (Except for those late-night, Ambien-fueled tweets! ;) )

Elon Musk is the most cautious CEO in tech, according to IBM's supercomputer
http://www.cnbc.com/2017/06/27/elon-musk-is-the-most-cautious-leader-in-tech-according-to-ibm-data.html
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.