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The Real Deal Los Angeles

Elon Musk gears up to unveil Hawthorne test tunnel

Big reveal comes 2 years after tech entrepreneur first tweeted the idea
December 18, 2018 03:00PM

Elon Musk (Credit: Getty Images and iStock)

It’s been two short years since Elon Musk famously tweeted that he was going to “just start digging” in Los Angeles to avoid the gut-wrenching traffic.

While the social media network hasn’t always proven the most rewarding outlet for the outspoken tech entrepreneur, it did pave the way for tonight’s big reveal.

After several months of work, his company, the Boring Co., is scheduled to unveil its first tunnel Tuesday, the Los Angeles Times reported. The launch was delayed from Dec. 10.

Located in Hawthorne, the test tunnel will transport autonomous vehicles that can travel at speeds up to 155 mph. In a tweet, Musk said that the opening would include “modded but fully road legal autonomous cars” and “ground to tunnel car elevators.”

In January, the Boring Co. purchased a modest home in Hawthorne where they could install the car elevator. Beneath the garage of the home on West 119th Place, they built an elevator that links to an underground test track, so engineers could practice raising and lowering the vehicles onto the platforms, called “skates.”

There will also be a medieval-style tower at the launch, and actors dressed in medieval attire, Fortune reported.

The test tunnel is about a mile long, shorter than the two-mile-long tunnel originally planned. It starts in a parking lot near SpaceX headquarters, and ends near a commercial property on Prairie Avenue.

Not all of Musk’s endeavors have gone smoothly. Late last month, he decided to drop his plan for another test tunnel beneath the Sepulveda Boulevard after a neighborhood backlash. Instead, the Boring Co. is exploring building test tunnels farther east, near Dodger Stadium. [LAT] – Natalie Hoberman