You won’t need to own a Tesla, or any car to take advantage of Elon Musk’s fantastic underground roadway if it ever becomes a reality.
Musk says he has shifted the focus of the high speed automated transportation system under development by his latest startup, The Boring Company, to prioritize pedestrians and cyclists over drivers.
The system is being designed to use computer-controlled platforms to whisk vehicles through a network of tunnels at speeds of up to 150 mph. Originally pitched as an easier way to get your own car across town, Musk has updated a previously released animated simulation to demonstrate how a small, shared shuttle bus would access the system through one of the thousands of parking space-sized elevators that he envisions being installed around a city.
The Boring Company is working on a tunneling machine that it hopes will operate cheaper and faster than current methods, allowing it to bring the system to fruition at an affordable cost. Cars will eventually be allowed, but Musk called it a “courtesy” to people who can’t afford to own vehicles to provide a way for them to access the system first.
The policy will also apply to Musk’s even faster Hyperloop intercity transit system also in development, which features people- and cargo-carrying pods zooming through a near-vacuum tube at speeds approaching 700 mph.
Musk is in talks with several cities around the U.S. and the world about building both systems, but did not indicate if the decision to prioritize them as mass, rather than personal transport, was a result of the discussions.