Elon Musk has shifted his pans for The Boring Company: While it will still focus on digging tunnels to provide a network of underground tubes suitable for use by high-speed Hyperloop pods, the plan now is to use that Hyperloop to transport pedestrians and cyclists first, and then only later to work on moving cars around underground to bypass traffic.
Musk shared the update via Twitter, noting that the idea would be to load customers onto cars roughly the size that a single parking space takes up currently, which would be dotted around an urban environment close to any destinations where someone might travel. The single-car station model would be designed to replace the current subway-style model, Musk said, where only a few small stations are very spread out.
In the animation that Musk shared above, you can see a rough illustration of what he means. It’s similar to a concept video he shared previously regarding how Boring Co.’s tunnel network might work, but it replaces elevators for cars and commercial vehicles that then turn into sleds that move along the underground system with contained multi-passenger shuttle pods.
This is a big departure from the original vision, and it seems like one that might have evolved after Musk and his collaborators on the project spoke to urban planners and transit authorities. This is also a version of the system that would benefit non-car owners first, which would be appealing both to urban officials looking to decrease congestion on downtown roads and discourage personal vehicle use, and to anyone hoping to increase access to affordable transit options.
Also, just in case you were wondering, Musk shared some insight into why the accent colors on the pod vehicles are blue: