Elon Musk and his underground tunnelling company, The Boring Company, have officially made their first step towards building his futuristic ‘Loop’ subway system.
The inventor and entrepreneur confirmed via Twitter that his company would officially apply to the city of Chicago’s request for an express train that would take passengers from its O’Hare International airport into the city.
Musk, known for inventing Hyperloop (among many, many other things), has also been developing a slower system called simply ‘Loop’.
Entirely automated, Loop is a circular train system that uses small high-speed electric ‘skates’ that can hold between 8-16 passengers and can travel around the network at between 125-150mph.
The system is based around a main artery tunnel with smaller offshoots that would form platforms. This would allow the skate’s average speed to actually be very close to its maximum speed.
Unlike Hyperloop, Musk has managed to push development of Loop at a far quicker pace and has even carried out a number of high-speed tests of the skate system in the private tunnel he’s building under the SpaceX headquarters.
Musk’s Boring Company isn’t just working on passenger pods, in fact the first demonstration he gave was of a car-transporting system.
Cars on the surface would drive onto special platforms where they would be lowered down into the tunnel network and then propelled to their destination on specially adapted platforms.
Both systems run on the same ‘skates’ so it’s universally applicable depending on what a city needs.
According to The Boring Company’s FAQ section on its website it is working on several projects in addition to Musk’s own tunnel which is located under SpaceX’s HQ.
The company has applied for a permit to build a 6.5-mile proof-of-concept tunnel underneath Los Angeles that would travel to Culver City.
It has also started working with federal and state officials to create a DC-to-Baltimore route and has already been granted permission by the State of Maryland to build 10.1 miles of tunnel on state-owned land.