Musk's Boring Tunnel in Las Vegas Demonstrated

Lucan

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The media are underwhelmed, describing it as just Tesla cars used as taxis, being manually driven slowly in a small tunnel, which is exactly what it is.

cnet for example
 
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higthomas

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Not surprised. It's always sounded like the crazy plan that is guided bus + tunnel, or a just a bad metro.
 

Lucan

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It helps to understand Musk's mindset by knowing that he hates trains. Like many Americans, he only sees them as those mile long freights running at 20-30mph which cut towns in half for minutes on end and hold him up at every level crossing. The reason he sponsored Hyperloop was to scupper the Californian high speed rail project, and having more-or-less achived that he does not have much more to do with it other than posing at Hyperloop media events. Here is part of what Musk had to say when the high speed rail was proposed : ( Ref )
When the California "high speed" rail was approved, I was quite disappointed, as I know many others were too. .....The train in question would be both slower, more expensive to operate (if unsubsidized) and less safe by two orders of magnitude than flying, so why would anyone use it?
How the heck he gets those two orders of magnitude, goodness knows, but he has never had qualms about avoiding truths.

Of course the Las Vegas "Loop" is not the Hyperloop, although many people confuse them, even the mainstream media. The name choices are is as if the confusion is intentional. Anyway, the Vegas Loop idea started as your own car being taken down to the tunnel on a lift to be placed on a powered sled, and then being transported underground at 150mph (or some such) to the lift at the far end where your car pops up near the head of the traffic jam that you had been at the back of.

But the scheme has been watered down in stages. One of his staff must have pointed out that the throughput of car lifts would be pitiful, and where would the liftheads have been? - in the middle of the road? (as early artist's impressions showed). Then it was cars or small buses guided betweew rails by side rollers, but I gather that development did not go well. So now it is simply driven cars working like taxis, with underground taxi ranks at each end. It's pathetic.

Musk is a billionaire who uses his wealth to satisfy his craving for public attention. He knows how to play to the media, who love him for providing stories, tossing them outrageously impractical ideas that people will soon forget when the next one comes along to eclipse it. The most recent is space travel for the masses between locations on Earth, like New York to Dubai. Most media people, financiers and politicians are seriously technically challenged, and the media as an entity has the memory span of a goldfish, so Musk gets away with this nonsense.
 
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MarkyT

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The 'loop' runs in 12ft diameter tubes so perhaps TfL could sell Vegas some used Picadilly Line trains when this experiment with individual small cars has proven completely inadequate. It is Musk's obsession with small pods running on-demand that is the perennial problem. Same with his Hyperthing with its absurd vacuum tube that's only really required because he refuses to countenance the coupling up of a series of pods together to form a decent length train, performing more efficiently aerodynamically at normal earth pressure.
 

Lucan

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That is a bit slow with lots of OT banter, but the Musk part starts after 15 minutes. Their take is ".. you can't say train, it has to be a pod ... I swear Elon Musk just started all this s**t because he got **** over by Union Pacific once and he's been mad at railroads ever since".

The one below gets straight to the point. I like his term Gadgetbahn for transport systems that try so hard not to be railways. It is a bit dated as it was made when car lifts were still a thing, but it is intersting to see that original daft idea anyway. This is NSFW either :

 

61653 HTAFC

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That is a bit slow with lots of OT banter, but the Musk part starts after 15 minutes. Their take is ".. you can't say train, it has to be a pod ... I swear Elon Musk just started all this s**t because he got **** over by Union Pacific once and he's been mad at railroads ever since".

The one below gets straight to the point. I like his term Gadgetbahn for transport systems that try so hard not to be railways. It is a bit dated as it was made when car lifts were still a thing, but it is intersting to see that original daft idea anyway. This is NSFW either :

That is of course Justin Rozniak (probably butchered the spelling) who is one of the hosts of the aforementioned WTYP Podcast. I agree it's a more concise critique.
 

Gostav

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Looks like this is a good chance to sell the old Glasgow subway stock.
 

birchesgreen

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I loved the computer generated simulation of his LV loop in action, with various people being run over
 

nlogax

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That is of course Justin Rozniak (probably butchered the spelling) who is one of the hosts of the aforementioned WTYP Podcast. I agree it's a more concise critique.

Justin Roczniak :) He's got a definite way with words whether it's on his own or with WTYP - whatever format you prefer, his putdown of the Vegas loop is absolutely withering and extremely valid.
 

LOL The Irony

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The results of a lithium fire would be catastrophic and most people in the vicinity would be killed by the heat or fumes. I think Elon should experience European or Japanese rail travel before he can give a valid opinion. Also a train won't fall over if all of the engines/motors fail, a plane has 37,000 feet to fall.
 

ainsworth74

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That is a bit slow with lots of OT banter, but the Musk part starts after 15 minutes. Their take is ".. you can't say train, it has to be a pod ... I swear Elon Musk just started all this s**t because he got **** over by Union Pacific once and he's been mad at railroads ever since".

That's sort of what you get with them really. I find their style very entertaining but I can well imagine for others it's rather grating and comes with a healthy dose of "get to the ruddy point!".
The results of a lithium fire would be catastrophic and most people in the vicinity would be killed by the heat or fumes.

I've seen several people mention that because the tubes are so small (to the point that you may well be impossible to open the doors in an emergency) that basically you've created a device which is well designed to kill people.
 

Lucan

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The results of a lithium fire would be catastrophic and most people in the vicinity would be killed by the heat or fumes.

Two days ago a Tesla crashed into a tree with this result :
relatives watched the car burn for four hours as authorities tried to tap out the flames.
Authorities said they used 32,000 gallons of water to extinguish the flames because the vehicle’s batteries kept reigniting.
From : Click 2 Houston

I think the word "tap" might mean water from a hydrant, or is a misprint for "put".
The fact that the car had the Tesla "Autopilot" and the occupants had chosen to leave the drivers seat unoccupied is a separate issue from the difficulty of putting the fire out. Nevertheless, these are the cars that Musk proposes to use in his "Boring" tunnels. Bear in mind that Musk proposes to send cars through at 150mph at intervals of less than one second.

Later Edit : Added link above to news article

tesla.jpeg
 
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Domh245

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I'll admit that I'm no expert, but water strikes me as the wrong extinguishant to be using on a car fire - let alone a car with a Li-Ion battery! Hopefully that's just a journalistic simplification
 

Ediswan

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I'll admit that I'm no expert, but water strikes me as the wrong extinguishant to be using on a car fire - let alone a car with a Li-Ion battery! Hopefully that's just a journalistic simplification
It seems that copious quantities of water is the recommened procedure. But this is to cool down the rest of the battery pack and stop the fire from spreading, not to put out the existing fire.
 

Domh245

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It seems that copious quantities of water is the recommened procedure. But this is to cool down the rest of the battery pack and stop the fire from spreading, not to put out the existing fire.

Use of water makes sense to cool the battery pack down, it just seems to go against everything I remember from GCSE chemistry about how reactive lithium is, particularly with water!
 

Jozhua

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I made a podcast on Hyperloop, mentioning this in a 10 minute segment at the end, which I also released and has done fairly well (at least for videos I've created!)


The Las Vegas Loop: When Elaborate Concepts Meet Technical Reality

The WTYPD episode and original Donoteat video are also very good.
 

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