Traffic Jam of the Future: Elon Musk's Las Vegas 'Anti-Congestion' Tunnel Immediately Becomes Congested
Tesla CEO Elon Musk recently launched his Las Vegas Convention Center Loop tunnel this week which was touted as solving the City of Sin’s congestion problem. There’s just one problem — the anti-congestion tunnel promptly became congested with traffic.
The Daily Mail reports that Elon Musk’s Boring Company unveiled its Las Vegas Convention Center Loop tunnel this week at CES 2022. The tunnel was quickly labeled a “death trap” after footage from inside the tunnel showed a traffic jam in an enclosed space with no emergency exits visible — although the Boring Company claims the tunnel has multiple exits.
Elon Musk Boring Company (Pool/Getty)
Footage showed a passenger in the back seat of a Tesla driving through the white tunnel before coming to a standstill behind other vehicles. Many users online quickly noted that the situation seemed unsafe, with one noting: “if a car catches fire, people will die.” Another Reddit user commented: “Ok eh…. what happens if there’s a crash and a fire? How will people get out? This is a death trap and a disaster waiting to happen. Especially with Tesla battery fires…”
It turns out the congestion-busting “future of transport” is already experiencing congestion. pic.twitter.com/yJY9b0Nwjj
— Adam Tranter (@adamtranter) January 6, 2022
The Boring Company has claimed that multiple safety protocols exist, including a redundant, bidirectional ventilation system to disperse smoke in the event of a fire. The convention center loop was unveiled in April 2021 and sits 40 feet beneath the ground. It cost $52.5 million to complete.
Elon Musk’s company plans to construct a 29-milelong tunnel system with 51 stations running from various casinos and venues along the Las Vegas Strip.
Las Vegas Sign (AP)
So far, the tunnel does not appear to be impressing those that use it. In the video posted by Benjamin Brochstein, who is attending the CES conference, the driver states that the congestion in the tunnel is likely due to one of the three stations being closed. Drivers are instructed that they cannot cruise more than 40 miles per hour in the tunnel, but when Brochstein was at the event his Tesla was only driving at around four miles per hour.
When Musk first unveiled the plans for the Loop in 2016, it was advertised as a form of high-speed travel for passengers aiming to avoid ground traffic in Vegas. Since then, many have noted that the tunnel has not been faster and is in fact quite boring.
Tech website Gizmodo wrote at the time: “Elon Musk’s ‘Public Transit’ in Las Vegas Still Just Humans Driving Cars Slowly in a Tunnel,” while tech and motoring site Jalopnik wrote: “Elon Musk’s Dumb Tesla Tunnel Now The Lamest Thing In Las Vegas!” Jalopnik writer Jason Torchinsky wrote: “It’s about as exciting as a sheet of unpainted drywall discarded in a closed office park. It’s just some Tesla Model 3s driving slowly in a tube. All this really is are some Teslas driving in tunnels lined with LED lights.”
Musk himself actually appeared to agree with this characterization, writing: “We simplified this a lot. It’s basically just Teslas in tunnels at this point, which is way more profound than it sounds.”
Another Twitter user wrote: “Vegas actually let Elon Musk make a less efficient subway system… They really let him make a subsidized Tesla advertisement.”
Read more at the Daily Mail here.