Elon Musk’s Boring Company Tuesday evening is expected to unveil its two-mile-long test tunnel, a prototype of an underground transportation system Musk has been touting as a way to avoid the Southland’s “soul-destroying traffic.”
As of Monday, the grand unveiling was still on track, although it had previously been pushed back a week. Musk is notorious for setting ambitious project-unveiling dates that ultimately need to be rescheduled.
The tunnel stretches from SpaceX’s Hawthorne property near Crenshaw Boulevard and 120th Street and runs west for about two miles under 120th Street. The test tunnel also features a car-lowering depot dubbed O’Leary Station in memory of a former SpaceX engineer who died earlier this year.
The unveiling, set for 8 p.m., is expected to be webcast at www.boringcompany.com.
Musk has touted his proposed system of tunnels as a novel way of avoiding traffic. A YouTube video posted by the Boring Company shows that the system would have electric mobile platforms that can carry either cars or pods for passengers capable of traveling up to 150 miles per hour.
Other videos have shown cars driving onto platforms, which are then lowered underground on a type of elevator, then propelled through the tunnel.
According to the Boring Co., the demonstration tunnel in Hawthorne will include “fully road legal autonomous transport cars and ground-to-tunnel car elevators.” People hoping to get a ride in the test tunnel are likely to be out of luck. Tours “are by invitation only,” according to the company.
Musk has said he hopes to eventually build a system that stretches all around the county.
In August, Musk announced plans to build an approximately 3.6-mile Dugout Loop underground tunnel that could run from Dodger Stadium to property owned by The Boring Co. near the Vermont/Sunset, Vermont/Santa Monica or Vermont/Beverly Metro Red Line stations.
Dugout Loop will be entirely privately financed and will not require any tax money, the company said.
The company recently scrapped plans for a tunnel beneath Sepulveda Boulevard in West Los Angeles amid a legal challenge over the project’s environmental review.
In typical Musk fashion, the unveiling of the Hawthorne test tunnel will include some whimsy.
The Boring Co. has been building a medieval tower at SpaceX’s property, the starting point of the tunnel. Musk wrote on his Twitter page in September that the structure was the first Boring Co. headquarters building, being built with Boring Bricks — made with dirt excavated in the tunneling work — “in the shape of a medieval watchtower.”
In a tip-of-the-hat to the 1970s film “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” Musk wrote that he would be hiring a knight to yell at people from the tower in a French accent, mirroring a scene in the movie featuring John Cleese as an insult-hurling French knight.
The Boring Co. posted a photos and a video of people dressed as medieval knights, calling the scene a “Boring Company Job Faire.”
This week, Musk referred to the tower as “Medieval Futurism.”