All posts in “The Boring Company”

The Boring Company is alarmingly chill with kids and dogs at its flamethrower pick-up event

Yep, the Not-A-Flamethrower is still a flamethrower.
Yep, the Not-A-Flamethrower is still a flamethrower.

Image: The boring company

Let’s be real for a minute: Just because you put “not” in front of something doesn’t really mean it is not that thing. 

While Borat is still working on his ability in this area, The Boring Company is handing out its Not-A-Flamethrowers to faithful customers who are eager to get there hands on them. Pick-up parties, as they’re being called, started in Los Angeles a few weeks back, and there was one in Washington D.C. on Saturday.

Alarm bells are ringing after the D.C. event, however, with kids and dogs appearing in more than a few photos posted on The Boring Company’s Twitter feed. Now that just seems unsafe. The idea of a company endorsing the visual of a kid hanging out next to — or even firing — a flamethrower seems surreal.

Elon Musk had to rename the flamethrower to Not-A-Flamethrower to please regulatory and customs agency. He also had rhyming terms and conditions for safety.

There’s one four-legged friend, and a kid standing close by as his mother gives the Not-A-Flamethrower a quick spin.

And then we have the kids, some with parents others without, whose faces tell the whole story. Musk is apparently not on hand for the Washington D.C. pickup, but it doesn’t seem like he is being missed.

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Elon Musk and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel hold ‘Loop’ press conference to shut down the haters

Bye haters - Elon Musk and Rahm Emanuel are a match made in transportation heaven.
Bye haters – Elon Musk and Rahm Emanuel are a match made in transportation heaven.

Image: Mark Brake/Getty Images

Haters gonna hate, but that’s not stopping Elon Musk and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel from pushing forward on a potentially game-changing new high-speed rail project.

Musk and Mayor Emanuel held a press conference on Thursday to announce The Boring Company’s winning bid for an underground high-speed rail between downtown Chicago and O’Hare International Airport.

“This is the fastlane to Chicago’s future,” Mayor Emanuel said.

The line will be called “The Chicago Express Loop,” also known as The X. Pods made by Tesla will travel between 125 – 150 mph, transporting travelers the approximately 16 miles between Block 37 in downtown Chicago to the airport in about 12 minutes. It’s not Hyperloop, but it’s fast — about four times faster than existing public transportation, at least.

The city and the Boring Company actually announced the partnership early Thursday morning. The role of the press conference, it seemed, was to communicate — and sell — Mayor Emanuel and Elon Musk’s dual vision for the future.

“If you want to have for your city a 21st century economy, you must have a 21st century transportation foundation,” Mayor Emanuel said. 

“We think that with the loop system, which will ultimately transition to the hyperloop system, there’s the potential here for a revolutionary transport system,” Musk said.

The press conference largely centered around how the project will impact Chicago. But Musk and Mayor Emanuel also took pains to address the “doubters” in the room. They both put forth the sentiment that revolutionary projects — which is the way that they see the Loop — always prompt naysayers. But that history tends to prove them wrong.

“It’s easy to be a critic or a cynic,” Mayor Emanuel said. “There are doubters along the way all the time who sit on the sidelines. And then when the thing gets built, and the economic growth comes, they’re nowhere to be found.”

Musk, who has had an embattled relationship with his critics in the press as of late, said “There is a role for doubters. People should question things.”

But he aimed to reassure those “doubters” with his track record of successful innovations with SpaceX and Tesla (which Mayor Emanuel also touted as he expressed his faith in Musk and the project).

“I’ve done a few things in my past that were pretty tricky,” Musk said.

That’s one thing you can say for Elon Musk: he’s definitely not afraid of a challenge.

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Elon Musk’s Boring Company will build a high-speed train to Chicago airport

The Boring Company, headed by Elon Musk, wants to get you from downtown Chicago to the airport in 12 minutes.
The Boring Company, headed by Elon Musk, wants to get you from downtown Chicago to the airport in 12 minutes.

Image: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

You could take the regular 40-minute train from one of the busiest airports in the world, or how about a 12-minute high-speed trip?

The Boring Company, headed by Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, has won a bid to build a high-speed train from Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport to downtown, reports the Chicago Sun Times.

According to the Times, rides would cost $20-25 for a 12-minute trip from the airport’s new terminals to the Block 37 super-station downtown. This trip usually takes approximately 30-40 minutes, whether by train via Chicago’s Blue Line for around $5, or by cab, Uber or Lyft.

Passengers will hop into a 16-seat vehicle travelling over 100 miles per hour through The Boring Company’s 12-feet-wide tunnels, sitting 30 to 60 feet underground. 

How much will this all cost? According to the Times, The Boring Company says it can install the whole thing, including the new airport station and Block 37 renovation, for under $1 billion. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel told the publisher the entire project must be funded by transport revenue (fares and advertising) — reportedly, not a taxpayer dollar in sight.

Mashable has reached out to Chicago Infrastructure and The Boring Company for further detail on the project.

The bid win doesn’t come as a huge surprise, as Musk tweeted plans to work with the city of Chicago on the airport rail project in November, and made the bid for The Boring Company in February.

For the control of the high-volume airport line, The Boring Company beat out a rival bid from joint venture called O’Hare Xpress LLC, made up of Meridiam, Antarctica Capital, Mott MacDonald, First Transit, and JLC Infrastructure, a fund (amazingly) backed by basketball legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson, reports Bloomberg.

It’s another win for The Boring Company, which is already rolling out its ambitious ultra-high-speed hyperloop project in Los Angeles — one that’ll apparently cost passengers just $1 to ride within the city. The very first LA tunnel was officially completed in May, after digging permission was granted in August last year.

Musk will begin giving free rides through the LA tunnels within a few months.

Musk also got permission from Maryland officials for his Boring Company to build a 10-mile tunnel in the state last year. It will mark the first part of Musk’s envisioned hyperloop to transport people underground between New York and Washington, D.C. in just 29 minutes.

Guess Musk had better sell a fair few of those flamethrowers.

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1,000 people picked up their Boring Company flamethrowers this weekend

It was a hot time in Los Angeles on Saturday afternoon.

Sorry, sorry. (No I’m not.) It’s been five months since The Boring Company sold 20,000 space age flamethrowers to… people who want to burn things, I guess. On Saturday, 1,000 of those buyers got to pick up their purchase at a party thrown by Elon Musk.

Here’s live footage of Musk testing out the very first unit.

OK, fine. There’s no footage of Musk himself wielding a Boring Company Flamethrower. But social media is flooded with photos of flamethrower buyers testing out their new toy.

Ah, 2018. When consumer-friendly flamethrowers that look more like video game cosplay accessories than the dangerous fire-making implements they are can be easily purchased by anyone who has enough money and interest. 

Love living in 2018. It’s the best.

You get the idea. Once you’ve seen one person shooting a working flamethrower that’s built to look like a toy, you’ve seen them all.

Just be careful what you call it. Although the product is clearly a flamethrower to anyone who possesses a pair of eyes, Musk noted (again) on Twitter that the item has been renamed “Not a Flamethrower” in order to comply with “regulatory/customs rules enacted to inhibit transport of anything called a Flamethrower.”

That might have been a joke. You can never really tell with him. Like, look at this tweet.

So probably a joke?

All I know is The Boring Company has chosen a hell of a moment to sell a real, working flamethrower. In the non-stop burning dumpster fire that is 2018, we all need something to keep those flames lit.

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Elon Musk’s ultra-high-speed hyperloop will cost just $1 to ride

Elon Musk is sick of Los Angeles traffic.

The Boring Company, Tesla and SpaceX CEO said he was late to his own tunnel company’s information session at a synagogue in Los Angeles on Thursday night because of traffic on a major freeway. He called the congested highway “the seventh or eighth level” of hell.

To tackle “soul-destroying traffic” plaguing most major U.S. cities, Musk said, “There’s a few ways to skin this cat.” Instead of building more roads and highways or heading into the sky, as Uber envisions with its flying cars, Musk wants to go below ground — like 30 to 100 feet below ground — with an autonomous highway-like high-speed tunnel hyperloop system.

Best bit? Musk says city hyperloop trips will only cost $1.

The Boring Company has been working on test tunnels in LA, and at the info session Musk laid out what this will look like. It’s not certain exactly when this is happening, but Musk likes things to come together quickly. State, city, and county officials not so much. LA city officials recently gave the OK for 2.7 miles of test track, which Musk revealed in a video last week. Just before Thursday’s info session Musk said the LA Metro system had agreed to work with the tunnel company.

Musk laid out what would eventually be miles of underground track all over LA with small mini stations, approximately the size of a parking spot, that take passengers from street level to the underground tunnel system in high-speed pods. He promised eight-minute trips from downtown LA to the airport and Dodger Stadium — all for $1 a trip.

Musk talks about tunnels and high-speed travel with The Boring Company's mascot, Gary the snail.

Musk talks about tunnels and high-speed travel with The Boring Company’s mascot, Gary the snail.

Musk also highlighted a vast system of small stations that would take about 16 passengers at a time, a weatherproof system (it’s all the same this far down), and minimal impact on neighborhoods and communities since no divisive highways or roads will pave over areas.

“For tunnels you can have hundreds of lanes, there’s no real limit,” he said. The tunnel system could also continue deeper and deeper with more demand. Here, Musk made sure to include a dig directed at UberAir, the ambitious electric passenger drone system dreamed up by the ride-hailing app. Uber plans to demo flights in LA by 2020. 

“You can’t fly the quietest helicopters through neighborhoods without bothering people,” Musk said. He promised that all the digging and boring required to build the hyperloop will go undetected because it’s so far down. 

“It’s quite difficult to detect when a tunnel is being dug,” he said. “We’re invisible.”

The LAX hyperloop station will be bigger than the stations all over the city.

The LAX hyperloop station will be bigger than the stations all over the city.

Image: the boring company

Eventually Musk wants the hyperloop to connect cities — San Francisco to LA, New York to Baltimore — and for those trips he’s tapping into his SpaceX rocket techniques to build vacuum tunnels that go 300 mph. 

For more urban experiences, for example, commutes throughout LA, Musk envisions 150 mph trips. And yes, it’ll apparently only cost you that dollar.

Musk spent a hefty portion of the info session explaining the boring process itself using electric motors and battery packs, and what he plans to do with the massive amounts of dirt, including building seismically sound bricks and life-size Lego kits.

For all those patiently waiting for your “not-flamethrowers” from the Boring Company — Musk said the company would start personally delivering the highly flammable devices in two weeks. 

With Musk everything’s at hyper-speed.

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