Musk seeks OK to build underground traffic tunnel in LA

By Danielle Haynes Follow @DanielleHaynes1 Contact the Author   |  Nov. 22, 2017 at 2:29 PM
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Nov. 22 (UPI) -- Canadian businessman Elon Musk has applied for a permit with the city of Los Angeles to get permission to begin digging an underground traffic tunnel to quickly move vehicles through the congested region.

Musk's Boring Co. has already begun digging at its Hawthorne headquarters, but the company wants to extend the tunnel to run along the 405 Freeway to Westwood. He applied for the permit Tuesday.

"We're trying to dig a hole under LA and this is to create the beginning of what will hopefully be a 3-D network of tunnels to alleviate congestion," Musk said.

Musk also own electric vehicle company Tesla and aerospace company SpaceX, which specializes in reusable rockets.

The tunnel, which would be funded by private money, would include electric platforms in order to carry vehicles at speeds up to 130 mph.

Los Angeles City Councilman Mike Bonin invited representatives of Boring Co., as well as other companies proposing new transportation technologies, to talk about traffic solutions with the city's Transportation Committee. He also invited Uber, which is testing driverless vehicles, and Hyperloop One, which proposes a high-speed train.

"Any of these modes of transportation would be transformative -- and all of them will likely face technological, regulatory, and psychological hurdles," Bonin said.

"As a forward-looking city with a population hungry for better mobility options, Los Angeles must prepare for exciting new technologies, and consider the public policy and real world implications of flying vehicles, high-speed underground transit, and electric personal mobility devices on our streets," he said.

Earlier this month, Uber said it planed to help construct an air traffic control network for self-flying vehicles by 2020. The ride-hailing company signed a contract with NASA to develop the software to manage the self-flying taxis.

Uber Chief Product Officer Jeff Holden said Los Angeles and Dallas would be the first two markets to see the new transportation technology.

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