Who needs a Sausage King of Chicago when you can have a Mole King reigning over the tunnels beneath the Windy City? Well, that's exactly what Elon Musk is aiming to be thanks to a gigantic contract The Boring Company won from the city of Chicago.
According to The Chicago Tribune, last week Mayor Rahm Emanuel selected Musk's Twitter joke-turned-tunneling venture to provide high-speed transportation between downtown Chicago and O'Hare International Airport. While The Boring Company's technology is still unproven in the mass marketplace, the Chicago contract represents the greatest opportunity to date for The Boring Company to demonstrate its viability on a massive scale. The deal could be worth as much as $16 billion, according to Alexander Haissl, an analyst at Berenberg, as reported by Business Insider.
[brightcove video_id="5799045113001" brightcove_account_id="3653334524001" brightcove_player_id=“rJs2ZD8x”]
While there is no timeline or official price point in place for the project, The Boring Company has claimed it will pay for the entire project itself and will not accept any public funds. The Boring Company will build the 18-mile underground route for less than $1 billion (according to a source close to the project), using its proprietary tunneling technology, which would employ tunnels that are smaller than those required for traditional subways.
According to the proposal, passengers would be able to travel from the Chicago Loop (the city's central business district) to O'Hare International Airport in 12 minutes flat for an estimated $20-25 per ride. Rides would depart the station "as frequently as every 30 seconds" and will operate for 20 hours per day, seven days per week, according to The Boring Company's website.
The project will likely use the 16-passenger, high-speed pods known as autonomous electric skates that The Boring Company first showcased a few months back. In a not-so-shocking act of corporate synergy, these electric skates will be produced by Tesla. They are based on the Tesla Model X and will carry between eight and 16 passengers or a single-passenger vehicle at speeds of up to 125-150 miles per hour. The electric skates will also boast climate controlled cabins, luggage storage space, and Wi-Fi--which means that you can watch approximately 1.5 episodes of Muskwatch during your commute.
For more on The Boring Company's plans for Chicago, as well as the latest on Tesla's rocket-powered Roadster, the geostorm threatening Mars, and much more, join hosts Kyle Hill and Dan Casey on to today's episode of Muskwatch.
Muskwatch airs on Nerdist.com and YouTube every Tuesday, but you can watch the full archive and get your favorite shows two full days earlier on Sunday if you’re an Alpha subscriber. If you’re not already, find out how you can get 30 days free right here.
What do you think of this week’s biggest stories? What would you like to see us explore on the next Muskwatch? Let us know in the comments below!