Elon Musk’s Boring Company Has Drilled a Grand Total of 4 Kilometres in 7 Years

Elon Musk’s Boring Company Has Drilled a Grand Total of 4 Kilometres in 7 Years

At the outset of the Boring Company’s plans to build a network of underground tunnels in Las Vegas, Elon Musk claimed that the Boring Company would build one mile of tunnel per week. At that rate, the proposed 68-mile network would have taken little more than one year to build out entirely. But seven years on, the Boring Company has completed only 2.4 miles of tunnels in Las Vegas, as Fortune reports.

Musk’s plans for an extensive tunnel network underneath America’s Playground is way behind, having failed to meet its operational schedule by years. As if that weren’t bad enough, the promise of a sprawling underground network full of fast, autonomous EVs has also gone by the wayside. Musk sold his company’s vision as a high-tech alternative to public transportation that could combine its efficiency and availability with the privacy and convenience of your own car.

Musk claimed that the tunnels would be able to transport people between major hubs, such as the Harry Reid Airport and the Vegas strip, in just seven minutes. All of this with passengers never having to touch a steering wheel, as the Tesla EVs would drive themselves. The sales pitch worked, and the Boring Company’s valuation reached $US5.6 billion by 2022, but its initial claims never materialized, according to Fortune:

The reality of The Boring Company is a drastically scaled-back version of the lofty vision Musk started working on in 2016. The Boring Company was supposed to deliver an underground maze of tunnels with small stations all across a city, where people could travel in their own autonomous vehicles at speeds of 150 miles per hour. The initial goal, according to Musk, was to build one mile of tunnel in a week.

In seven years, Boring has completed just 2.4 miles of operational tunnels. It has put its self-driving vehicle plans on the back burner in favor of a Tesla chauffeur service, and it’s moving people at relatively mild speeds of under 40 miles per hour in Vegas…

The initial claims gave way to practical solutions that were far-cries from the ostensive vision. The proposed 68 miles hardly reached an operational span of 3 miles, and the robotaxis were replaced by Tesla EVs with human drivers.

Photo: Ethan Miller (Getty Images)

Part of the issues come from the churn of workers at the Boring Company, which Fortune reports has a high rate of employee turnover. That may be due to the incompatibility of Musk’s futuristic vision with that of the actual workers needed to execute said vision, such as tunnel engineers; Futurism cites Fortune, claiming these engineers tend to be conservative in their thinking:

“Elon’s idea for the Boring Company was a good one,” one former employee told the magazine last week. “It just hasn’t been executed on.”

Attracting new talent for the venture has also proven difficult.

“Tunnel engineers are different than those hired at Elon’s other companies in that they have a much lower risk profile and are much more conservative in their thinking,” one former executive told Fortune, “so it’s hard to attract people with a moonshot.”

The Boring Company’s other proposals to build tunnel systems in Illinois, Texas and Florida, among others, have stalled or fizzled out. No one seems to be paying attention to the Boring Company, and certainly not Elon Musk. With a name like that it could just be a case of a self-fulfilling prophecy, maybe. Or maybe you just can’t move fast and break things when you’re digging tunnels.

Photo: Robyn Beck/Pool (Getty Images)

Image: Robyn Beck/Pool (Getty Images)

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Editor’s note: An earlier version of this article listed Zachariah Kelly as the author. This has now been corrected to José Rodríguez Jr. We regret this error.

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