Musk’s Boring Company shows 125-mph passenger pod for tunnels

The concept bridges the gap between current transportation systems and Hyperloop Pods that can travel at 600 mph in a vacuum tunnel. Elon Musk's Boring Company has quietly revealed a passenger pod that sits atop a modular 'skate' for tunnel transportation.

The startup envisions a tunnel network equipped with high-speed sleds that ferry cars beneath cities at speeds of up to 125 mph. New images posted on the company's website appear to show a sled outfitted with an enclosed passenger pod instead of a car, extending the concept to public transportation.

Electric sleds are promoted as safer and faster method than simply routing multiple lanes of traffic underground. The autonomous platforms can theoretically operate without wide lanes that human-piloted cars would require, enabling the system to operate in tunnels half the diameter of a single-lane road.

"Reducing the diameter in half reduces tunneling costs by 3-4 times," the company adds.

The concept appears to bridge the gap between current underground transportation systems and so-called 'Hyperloop,' an experimental technology that further increases travel speeds via pressure pods in a vacuum tube.

"The electric skate can transport automobiles, goods, and/or people," the company says. "And if one adds a vacuum shell, it is now a Hyperloop Pod which can travel at 600+ miles per hour."

Several startups are working to demonstrate Hyperloop technology, but infrastructure costs are viewed as a significant barrier -- perhaps insurmountable. Musk's choice to create The Boring Company rather than a Hyperloop startup suggests he views the former as the most viable solution for easing urban traffic congestion in the near term.

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