After having won the bid to build Chicago's new transit system today, Elon Musk's Boring Company is now showcasing its latest transport technology: a Tesla Model X with a contraption that enables the all-electric vehicle to drive on rails inside the startup's tunnel. "He's proven something. The risk - with no financial risk - is I'm betting on a guy who has proven in space, auto and now, a tunnel, that he can innovate and create something of the future", the Chicago Mayor said.
The Boring Company has estimated the cost of the project to be $1bn, which would be entirely funded by it in exchange for all revenue from the system's transit fees, advertising, branding and in-vehicle sales. The passenger vehicles will travel up to 150 miles per hour and will cut the current 30 to 45 minute trip from the airport and Chicago's business district to 12 minutes - according to Boring Company. "Tunnel construction and operation will be silent, invisible and imperceptible at the surface", the company said.
If Emanuel and Musk, who is also the CEO of electric-car company Tesla, are able to reach a final deal, it would then need approval from Chicago's city council.
The 12-minute ride - which Emanuel equated to "three songs on your iPod" - compares to the roughly 40 minutes it now takes to make it from O'Hare to the city via the Chicago Transportation Authority's Blue Line train.
The Boring Co has been promoting its plans for Hyperloop tunnels that would allow high-speed travel between cities, such as travel from NY to Washington in less than 30 minutes. According to reports the Boring Company will build the new system without spending any taxpayer money.
The Chicago Transit Authority's Blue Line trains now provide transportation from stops across the city to the airport.
Musk has proposed a similar airport connector for Los Angeles, and has promised to offer rides in the test tunnel sometime this year.
Alderman Scott Waguespack, whose ward covers parts of the city's north and northwest sides, said there are many unanswered questions and the project should be subject to a public hearing. City officials said they are aiming for construction on the multiyear project to begin next year, but a timeline will be determined during contract negotiations. This rendering shows the company's proposal for its O'Hare station. The site, in a downtown development known as Block 37, will serve as the downtown station for the new express service. The RFP also called for designers to build a system that could provide travel times of 20 minutes or less with no more than 15 minutes between train departures for most of the day. But the concept has made some headway in major United States cities.