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1 hour ago, Spaceception said:

Have to take it one step at a time, people will still want to own and drive cars for awhile, this just to make driving within cities bearable for now.

Self-driving will come into play faster than people think. It will become ready for prime time, and all bets are off. Also, there will be services like Uber or Lyft that can then use autonomous cars. Also, I bet Tesla does this as soon as that is a thing. You buy a Tesla, and part of the "setup" of the car (telling it where home is, what side of the garage to park on, etc) will be "carsharing." You'll allow certain users to use the car (say your spouse and kids, perhaps parents and inlaws). Another option might be other Tesla owners. You'll have blocked out times where your car must be in certain parts of town---in your garage by midnight, and at work at 5 to take you home, and in between, maybe at the kids' school. Other people who cannot afford to keep their cool new car to themselves might open use up to Tesla subscribers that pay a monthly fee to use a car, and your car is one of the providers. In return, your cool car is subsidized based upon the hours it is made available.

I honestly don't see these tunnels under LA as terribly plausible for the car on a skate thing. I think the "plumbing" logistics of how to get cars on and off is trouble enough. Many people will want off at the same places. Say the airport. You'd likely need hundreds of elevators to lift cars, or the transit tunnel becomes a parking lot.

31 minutes ago, Jovus said:

Someone else who knows better than me: isn't LA only just above its own water-table? Wouldn't boring holes underneath it require you to constantly evacuate said water?

Not that this is impossible (see: Chunnel), just maybe not an awesome idea (see: Chunnel).

Any tunnel has to hold water out, so that's a standard tunneling issue.

Earthquakes are another issue... yikes.

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13 minutes ago, tater said:

Any tunnel has to hold water out, so that's a standard tunneling issue.

True, to a point. There's a difference between 'the ground is leaky' and 'we want to tunnel underwater' as a matter of engineering.

I'm not claiming this makes it unfeasible, just that it's maybe a reason to consider it uneconomic.

If that's even the case. It's a question.

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18 hours ago, Jovus said:

 

Someone else who knows better than me: isn't LA only just above its own water-table? Wouldn't boring holes underneath it require you to constantly evacuate said water?

 

No problem. It's much easier to bore the water than stone.

17 hours ago, LordFerret said:

Not to mention that it sits atop a major fault line.

It will have a Magic Boulder. Hydrolevitation.

P.S.
Will this work also with horse-driven wagons? Why limit ourselves with one old kind of transport (car), rather than with several?

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5 minutes ago, kerbiloid said:

It's much easier to bore the water than stone.

Hahaha no. Hell no. Modern TBMs for soft soils often have to freeze the ground around them so that it's possible to tunnel the thing properly.

Anyhow, oh dear, Musk had an idea again :[

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9 minutes ago, ModZero said:

Hahaha no. Hell no. Modern TBMs for soft soils often have to freeze the ground around them so that it's possible to tunnel the thing properly.

Yes, while they are boring the tunnel through the soil.

A day later they will "bore" through the water which had filled the tunnel.

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1 minute ago, kerbiloid said:

A day later they will "bore" through the water which had filled the tunnel.

Well, there are ways to manage it. Freezing the entire lot until you build up the tunnel, keeping the seal between the drill and the tunnel edge, lots and lots of pump everywhere. It's not really easier than going through rock, though. But San Francisco could absolutely have a proper subway, just like Amsterdam has one :-P

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6 minutes ago, ModZero said:

just like Amsterdam has one :-P

Wait... Now I see: the next company will be something about dam building!

They will build dams, connect them to the shore with underwater tunnels and land Falcons and Dragons on top of small concrete platforms like onto the barges autonomous drone ships..
That's why they need all this stuff.

Edited by kerbiloid

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39 minutes ago, ModZero said:

Well, there are ways to manage it. Freezing the entire lot until you build up the tunnel, keeping the seal between the drill and the tunnel edge, lots and lots of pump everywhere. It's not really easier than going through rock, though. But San Francisco could absolutely have a proper subway, just like Amsterdam has one :-P

Yes you has to line the tunnel after making it, In soil you have to do this anyway even if dry. 
Freezing is just to let you drill trough water logged areas. 
 

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The two big problems with boring holes through the ground are hitting something you can't bore through and hitting something too easy to bore through. And the reason the latter is a problem is because when boring you want to remove only the material from the hole, not the material above or around it. If you hit something too soft you need to actually inject grout or otherwise make the soil strong enough so that it doesn't form voids around your tunnel.

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Oh, we have almost 60km tunnels through metamorphic rock (hard stuff) under the alps (Gotthard Base) and another one (Brenner Base) for completion around 2025 (65km), hard is no problem. Making a tunnel watertight in potentially moving ground is much more difficult. The Japanese know something about it (54km long 240m below sea level). Or the financial desaster Eurotunnel between Folkestone and Calais. Tunnels below the sealevel are very expensive.

 

Tunnel boring machines these days can adapt to changing conditions while building a tunnel. They bore, plaster the walls with concrete and lay the rails; a ready tunnel is left behind behind.

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Here's their map.

Spoiler

lX9GRZZAg1XUSL1LTJVpu8nCKHFBqhUM0Dw7MKuS

Now we can make a trace-paper copy of the pipeline, and find which exactly place on Mars is planned to be colonized.

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1 hour ago, kerbiloid said:

Here's their map.

  Hide contents

lX9GRZZAg1XUSL1LTJVpu8nCKHFBqhUM0Dw7MKuS

Now we can make a trace-paper copy of the pipeline, and find which exactly place on Mars is planned to be colonized.

Are they joking when they say 'Elon Musk's Garage'? 

 

Edited by Skylon

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He's trying to avoid his commute, after all.

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I think I have a new Machine Learning project:

To train a discriminator to figure out whether Elon Musk is serious or joking in any given sentence :(

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3 minutes ago, monstah said:

I think I have a new Machine Learning project:

To train a discriminator to figure out whether Elon Musk is serious or joking in any given sentence :(

I'd say he's serious, however, verbal gov approval means less than diddly-squat. Furthermore, it could be dangerous to go out in public with such a statement.

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15 hours ago, monstah said:

To train a discriminator to figure out whether Elon Musk is serious or joking in any given sentence

And was serious or joking the government person. A government has no voice, it can only write.

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17 hours ago, Shpaget said:

I'd say he's serious, however, verbal gov approval means less than diddly-squat. Furthermore, it could be dangerous to go out in public with such a statement.

Well, up until today, none of us knew that any company of his was even working on a hyperloop. In fact, I distinctly recall Elon Musk stating in the past that he doesn't think it's a priority for him and if someone else wants to do it, he'll be perfectly happy with that.

If nothing else, the statement he made now confirms that a.) he's changed his stance about that since he started thinking about tunnels, and b.) he's going to make The Boring Company develop hyperloop systems in addition to tunnel digging tech, and c.) he's gona as far as developing a practical idea, presenting it to government officials, and getting positive feedback.

So there's quite a lot of meaning in that little tweet, even if no written approval has been secured yet. :) 

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Maybe Elon should contact the engineers who made LIGO facility. They have four 4 km vacuum tubes, two intersecting.

I really wonder however, do people commute on the east coast that often ? How does Elon Musk actually handles accounting ?

Regarding geological stability : going north from LA means crossing one portion of the San Andreas fault. Even so, apparently artists and entertainers don't mind it. Also, doing tunnels on the east coast is easier I suppose ?

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The East coast is where tons of commuting happens, and really is the only place in the country where trains are not a wholesale money loser.

The Boston-NYC-DC corridor is a place where rail (or this notion) could actually work, and there are few other places in the country where in fact makes any sense at all. Passenger rail is not a good idea (from a money standpoint)  pretty much anywhere on Earth, so that's the only caveat I would have (passenger rail in Europe is heavily subsidized by freight as I understand it). If hyperloop could be used for freight, then maybe it's better.

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19 minutes ago, tater said:

... Passenger rail is not a good idea (from a money standpoint)  pretty much anywhere on Earth, so that's the only caveat I would have (passenger rail in Europe is heavily subsidized by freight as I understand it). ...

They're subsidized by government in most places ; maybe some of the subsidy do comes from freight, but I thought the US have among the largest rail freight movement (maybe bar Russia or China or India or something ? Combined Europe / EU doesn't hold so much as that, HSR are virtually passengers only).

Edited by YNM

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