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  1. It could be the biggest news for Chicago since the Cubs won the World Series: Elon Musk's Boring Company won a bid to build an express train to O'Hare Intl. Airport. But this is not your average train: You'll board a pod-like electric vehicle (called a "skate"). These cars will carry 8-16 passengers, leave every 30 seconds, and travel up to 150 mph in underground tunnels. Here's what a station might look like: This contract is a game changer For Chicago... As any Chicagoan will tell you, getting to da airport from da downtown "Loop" is a nightmare, whether yer taking the L train (~40 minutes) or sitting in traffic. The plan here is to whisk you out to O'Hare in just 12 minutes. And for Musk... Winning this bid adds legitimacy to a company that he started as a hobby just a year and a half ago. Now go reward yourself with a Bean selfie, Elon. But there's still a long way to go until this thing actually gets built.
  2. Following closely on the heels of rumors that Elon Musk was pursuing development of his own Hyperloop technology, a spokesperson for the Musk-backed The Boring Company has confirmed plans to build a 600+mph high speed transportation system “aka Hyperloop”. In a statement to Wired, the spokesperson revealed that The Boring Company was indeed exploring the development of tunnels and related infrastructure that would allow for two different types of transport. “At the Boring Company, we plan to build low-cost, fast-to-dig tunnels that will house new high-speed transportation systems. Most will be standard pressurized tunnels with electric skates going 125+ mph. For long-distance routes in straight lines, such as NY to DC, it will make sense to use pressurized pods in a depressurized tunnel to allow speeds up to approximately 600+ mph (aka Hyperloop).” Musk has previously provided a video demonstrating the electric skate concept. The above statement indicates that the skate-focused tunnels will be solely for shorter distance traffic alleviation, while longer distance routes will forgo the 125 mph skate for a 600+ mph Hyperloop. This marks the first time that The Boring Company has officially confirmed that it has plans to develop its own Hyperloop technology, and follows many rumors and Musk himself stating that the company had received “verbal approval” for a Hyperloop between New York City and Washington D.C in July. News of MuskÂ’s interest in developing his own Hyperloop has  created a considerable amount of drama and apparently took the private companies now developing their own derivatives of Hyperloop by surprise. Musk and SpaceX have consistently supported and encouraged external companies and entities to further develop the concept, and now Musk has decided that he will pursue the development of Hyperloop himself, something that he deemed a distinct possibility approximately a handful of days after he published the white paper in 2013. Regardless, with MuskÂ’s precedent for intense focus and dedication in the face of armies of armchair critics, as well as The Boring CompanyÂ’s utilization of SpaceX and potentially Tesla expertise, the future is looking bright for both traffic alleviation with tunnels and high speed intercity travel by Hyperloop. With the companyÂ’s hat now officially in the ring, competition is guaranteed to be stronger than ever between the several companies pursuing the technology. Meanwhile, The Boring Company is forging ahead in Hawthorne and just recently held a meeting with the City Council in order to present plans for a several mile R&D tunnel under the city. Tunneling requires extensive evidence of care being taken to avoid disrupting numerous pipes, wires, and other underground utilities, and TBC will have to demonstrate their ability to safely tunnel under the city. The company has already received preliminary approval from Hawthorne. SourceÂ
  3. Discussion exploded about the logistical challenges Tesla CEO Elon Musk would face when he announced that he had received preliminary verbal government approval to construct a Hyperloop from New York City to Washington, D.C. Musk’s vague assertions were met with heavy skepticism in from the media, who questioned how difficult it would be to secure that kind of “approval” for such a massive project. One major question was what the permit process for burrowing a tunnel required for the Hyperloop would look like. While itÂ’s still unclear exactly what kind of approval Musk received, and exactly what stage the project is at, Tesla fans got a look at what the government process could look like when a transcript of a Hawthorne, California, city council meeting surfaced via Reddit. The special meeting held last Thursday featured a presentation from The Boring Company and SpaceX about tunneling under 120th Street between Crenshaw Blvd. and Hawthorne Blvd. The tunnel would be used “purely for research and development” by The Boring Company and would stretch two miles. Officials said the main goal of the project would be to prove that The Boring CompanyÂ’s technology is a practical, possible way to eliminate future traffic jams and accidents. The companyÂ’s primary concerns are how its tunnel could potentially interact with utility lines already present under the street — lines carrying electric power, water or even gas. The company then outlined its extensive surveying process to help design a tunnel that would not only avoid these vital utility lines, but also ensure that the tunnel would be safe for people walking and driving above on 120th Street. The specifics on price and further terms of a potential agreement were all discussed in private, according to a transcript of the meeting. In terms of the city councilÂ’s actual process, the council voted to appoint City Manager Arnold Shadbehr as the “real property negotiator for the tunnel easement.” What the transcript signals is how arduous the government approval process could be for The Boring Company. In addition to talking with the Hawthorne City Council, The Boring Company also reached out to 19 different utility companies to discuss the project that would be in the same area as power, water, gas and other utility lines. Despite the challenges, The Boring Company officials seemed ready to rise to the occasion to set up the Hawthorne tunnel for research. Either way, if constructed the tunnel will provide vital research for the tunnel that will house MuskÂ’s Hyperloop from Washington, D.C. to New York City. SourceÂ
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