The Boring Company may already be building transport tunnels underground, but there needs to be a way to get vehicles down to the tunnel and back up above ground again. That’s where this prototype garage comes in, which just gained approval for construction near SpaceX HQ.
Earlier this week, controlling the boring machines used to construct The Boring Company’s tunnels got much easier thanks to the addition of Xbox controller support. Now Elon Musk is turning his attention to another key area of making these tunnels usable: how to transport vehicles down to them.
In the concept videos The Boring Company released so far we see cars driving on to a pad and then disappearing down into the ground with the pad acting as an elevator. As The Mercury News reports, Musk’s tunneling company just gained approval to construct a prototype garage on a plot of land near the SpaceX headquarters which will house one of these elevators.
A Boring tunnel already exists beneath 120th Street which runs for a mile between Hawthorne Boulevard and Prairie Avenue (the SpaceX end). The land sits at the Hawthorne Boulevard end of the tunnel and a garage will be built containing a shaft down to the tunnel. Clearly this garage will house the prototype vehicle elevator to help work out the kinks. However, according to a tweet by Musk, he’s envisioning home garages eventually being directly connected to these tunnels.
As part of the approval process for the garage, The Boring Company had to agree not to create additional traffic on the street next to the plot. To comply with that, it’s thought vehicles will never drive into the garage, instead they will enter the tunnel from the Prairie Avenue end and then use the shaft to be raised up into the garage. If the vehicle wants to leave the garage it will need to go back down the shaft, through the tunnel, and drive out the other end.
Another piece of land was also purchased recently which will be linked to the tunnel in order to remove the boring machine cutter head. The tunnel was originally meant to extend to two miles in length, but the opportunity to easily remove the cutter from this new location means it will now stay at roughly one mile long.
The Boring Company has guaranteed that there will be minimal noise impact for around 100 local residents. Extensive security measures will be put in place around the two above-ground locations, and with no cars emerging from that end of the tunnel, it should end up just looking like an well-protected, quiet garage.