Elon Musk's high-speed Chicago tunnel proposal makes no sense

15 June, 2018, 02:51 | Author: Brooke Harris
  • Chicago Picks Musk's Boring Co. for O'Hare Express Service

Autonomous electric vehicles known as skates would carry 8 to 16 people and their luggage on the 18-mile trip between O'Hare and Block 37 in about 12 minutes, reaching a top speed of about 150 miles per hour.

The Boring Company has plans to invade Chicago's O'Hare airport. The Chicago Express is a billion dollar project, but the technology is still unproven.

Construction and final deal details between Chicago and The Boring Company still need to be ironed out, but the Tribune reports that the project will cost less than $1 billion.

The Boring Company plans to build terminals for its Chicago Express Loop connecting O'Hare airport and downtown Chicago. The Chicago Express Loop service will operate for 20 hours per day, seven days a week, and it's expected that a skate will depart from each station every 30 seconds. Unlike the Hyperloop, a vacuum-sealed tube being built out by companies such as Virgin Hyperloop One and theoretically capable of speeds up to 600 miles per hour, the Chicago project will be designed with conventional tunnels at much slower speeds. At a news conference with Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Thursday, Musk said the Loop "will ultimately transition to the Hyperloop system". No tracks were ever laid in the station, and no new tunnels were started to connect downtown to the airports.

Between eight and 16 passengers will travel underground in each "skate" electric vehicle between the airport and downtown Chicago. The Loop's 18-mile route supposedly would cost passengers $20 to $25 per trip.

Chicago Picks Musk's Boring Co. for O'Hare Express Service

"This transformative project will help Chicago write the next chapter in our legacy of innovation and invention".

The Boring Co has been promoting its plans for Hyperloop tunnels that would allow high-speed travel between cities, such as travel from NY to Washington in less than 30 minutes.

Hyperloop technologies could revolutionise travel: here's everything you need to know about the technology and the companies involved.

Of course, for any of this to work, Boring's drilling technology has to work, the firm needs to attract investment capital and the project needs to clear a series of legal and environmental hurdles. Exact project costs and construction timelines will be negotiated with the contract.

Rivkin said the city hopes to minimize the land-use issues by locating the two tunnels - one inbound, the other outbound - beneath existing government-owned right-of-way areas, such as the Kennedy Expressway or under streets that run diagonally through the Northwest Side, including Elston and Milwaukee avenues. The agreement itself will not be presented to the City Council for approval until after negotiations on the design of the project have been completed.

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