Entrepreneur Elon Musk's dream of an express tunnel transit system could eventually become a reality in Las Vegas after major setbacks in other cities.
The Las Vegas Tourist Office announced on Wednesday that it is recommended that a company supported by the divisive billionaire receive a contract to build and operate an underground tunnel system through which autonomous electric vehicles will whip people around a mega congress center and in the future, possibly the city's famous casino-filled corridor.
If approved, the system of just over a kilometer long will debut in January 2021 at the facility, which hosts more than 1 million people each year. The Musk-owned The Boring Company will build the project costing $ 35 million to $ 55 million.
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It is different from his besieged efforts to build subway systems in other cities because Musk will be paid for it if the contract is approved. Projects in Los Angeles and Chicago have drawn opposition and skepticism from residents and officials about whether they will actually open.
Musk has met recent blowback because of his behavior and tweeting habits. He has had dust ups with stock market regulators and agreed last year to go down as chairman of the board of Tesla, his electric car company.
But tourists in Las Vegas are ready to board a Musk project. 19659008] "It's very innovative. I think it will be an attraction in itself, honestly," said Steve Hill, president and chief executive of the Las Vegas Convention and the visiting authority, The Associated Press.
Details of the project have not been completed. But Hill said the system would have three or four stations, each located at entrances to the conference halls. People would be carried to the hall of their choice in electric vehicles moving through parallel tunnels running in one direction.
The fleet can include the Tesla model X and model 3 and a vehicle with capacity for about 16 people, Hill said. All cars will be fully autonomous, meaning they will not have backup human drivers.
The Las Vegas Convention Center that attracts worldwide collections, including the premier consumer electronics exhibition, is in an expansion. When they are finished, conference participants can log in two miles from one end to the other. The distance led officials to search for a transport solution.
The service in the conference center is expected to be free for people attending events.
The convention center is run by the government, which is funded by county tax and is responsible for promoting the destination around the world. The tourist office is governed by a board.
The Authority is expected to present to the Board the recommendation to elect Musk & # 39; s company March 12. If approved, the greeting hopes that the agency hopes to return to the board with a full design and proposed contract by June.
In December, Musk unveiled a test tunnel built during a Los Angeles suburb, allowing journalists and guests to take trips. It came almost two years to the day after Musk announced on Twitter that "traffic is driving me nuts" and he "was going to build a tunnel drilling machine and just start digging."
"I'll actually do this," he added in response to initial skepticism. Shortly after, he began The Boring Company, the tongue of the cheek intentionally.
Skepticism has not gone down. The Boring Company in November interrupted its plans for another test tunnel in the Los Angeles area after a neighborhood group initiated a charge of traffic and disturbance concerns from trucks that remove dirt during the chain process.
Planning a project in Chicago now seems to be in danger. Neither Mayoral candidate approves plans announced in June that required a system similar to what was suggested for Las Vegas. It would carry people between Chicago downtown and Hare International Airport at speeds of up to 150 mph through underground tunnels.
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Hill said he did not expect to allow processes in the Las Vegas area to put the project behind the plan should it be approved, because the city is "committed to innovation."
"Look at everything we've built in Las Vegas, and this city and everyone who has built it, found ways to make it happen," he said. "As long as this still makes sense, I think we'll figure out how to make it happen."
Hill's recognized technology to be used in the project has not been used commercially, but he said the company has the talent to make the project a reality.
Trust in The Boring Company is such that the authority already has optional tunnel system routes to be expanded to connect to the Las Vegas Strip, city center and McCarran International Airport. An extension of this size can be a solution to the overload that hits the strip and nearby areas.
"We see it as a real opportunity and something we want to pursue," Hill said.
Steve Davis, president of The Boring Company, said that the speed at which the vehicles will move inside the conference center's tunnels will depend on the number of stations built. The technology involved in the project is being tested every day in the tunnel in Hawthorne, California.
The company believes it will be able to deliver the project within the 2021 deadline, just before the year's issue of the CES tech gadget collection. There is also an opportunity for expansion.
"If society likes it and they come, they ride at the convention center and they say" This is great. It's comfortable. It's fast. It's really good. "Well, that's other places it can go," Davis said.