Tesla CEO Elon Musk has revealed more details on the company’s upcoming electric semi-trailer truck as well as his plans for a separate tunnel boring company aimed at alleviating traffic.
During a TED talk held Friday in Vancouver, Musk presented the first image of the new Tesla truck which earlier this month he said will be revealed in September.
The image hints at the streamlined look of the new truck that Musk first alluded to last summer in part two of his overarching product strategy known as the Tesla Master Plan. The plan also calls for an electric pickup truck and new mobility solutions.
Also during the talk, Musk presented a video demonstrating his plans for his new venture known as The Boring Company. As the video shows, the company hopes to establish a network of tunnels in congested cities in which cars would travel between fixed points on high-speed sleds.
A car would drive onto a platform at road level at which point the platform would lower into a tunnel and become an electrically-powered sled. The sled would then automatically merge into a high-speed tunnel where speeds of 124 mph would be possible.
Musk gave the example of traveling from the Los Angeles suburb of Westwood to LAX in about “5-6 minutes,” compared to 30 minutes normally or an hour with traffic. Musk conceded that there are still many challenges, the main ones being the cost and speed of installing the tunnels.
The Boring Company already has its first tunnel-boring machine which is being tested at the headquarters of another Musk venture, SpaceX, in Hawthorne, California. He said the tunnel-boring machine is able to dig approximately 1 mile per week.
It should be noted that The Tunnel Boring company at present is unrelated to the Hyperloop, the low-pressure, high-speed transport system Musk envisaged but is not actually working on. There are two leading firms in the Hyperloop race: Hyperloop One and Hyperloop Transportation Technologies. Both are based in the United States, though we may not necessarily see the first hyperloop in service here.