Author Topic: I'm loosing respect for Elon Musk... promises $1 rides in LA transit tunnels.  (Read 8535 times)

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Online Mr. Scram

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There have been a few experiments right here on earth with groups of people living in a sealed environment for a period of time. As far as I know they have all been rather spectacular failures. Technical problems aside, I'd bet that a mars colony would have a massive outbreak of drama within a few months.
Just like regular life, you mean? This tends to happen less if carefully selected and trained personnel are employed. A clear goal, organisation and power structure also seems to help. The South Pole research institute seems to be a fair model of how people live in difficult conditions without a way out for extended periods of time.
 

Offline bugi

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Tunnels are crazy expensive.
It is all relative. Certainly more expensive to make the initial build than making e.g. a road on surface, but the maintenance costs afterwards can be a lot less. Also, even those build costs can be considered acceptable if it saves enough in other costs, or brings other benefits (like less time wasted in travels, or saves space for something else). Depends on the environment, too (does it get snowy in winter, how difficult the ground is to dig, etc).

Consider that even in such "small" cities like Helsinki (or the capital area in general, still a petty village on the big world standards), they are almost continuously adding new (short) tunnels all over the place, are moving some large roads underground (either in tunnel, or digging into a pit and adding a cover to build buildings on top of), and are currently pre-planning (i.e. not decided on yet) one large tunnel complex (for cars) going pretty much past the whole main city center, and also pre-planning a huge tunnel from Helsinki to Tallinn. Last one is certainly estimated to be quite pricey, but they also estimate that it has a good chance to be worth it in the long run.  Note also that pretty much all tunnels here go into hard bedrock. Some consider that as expensive, here they have done it so long that IIRC, now they like it more than softer materials (because less money is needed for making supports etc.)  Ages ago they also made the main tunnel network for putting some heat/water/whatnot pipes/cables into, large enough to drive maintenance cars in.  I'd think if tunnel digging was "crazy" expensive, digging tunnels for mere pipes would not have been on the top of the project list to fund.

Oh, and this one https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P%C3%A4ij%C3%A4nne_Water_Tunnel.  A bedrock tunnel (and world's second longest tunnel, too) just for water (and a bit of electricity generation from that water flow along the way) - We must have been crazy.. :P


All that said, I'm not trying to claim that Musk's this particular idea is good, I just wouldn't drop it due to just including tunnels in the idea. (He has some other, lets say "less than good" ideas, too.)
 

Online rx8pilot

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It is all relative. Certainly more expensive to make the initial build than making e.g. a road on surface, but the maintenance costs afterwards can be a lot less. Also, even those build costs can be considered acceptable if it saves enough in other costs, or brings other benefits (like less time wasted in travels, or saves space for something else). Depends on the environment, too (does it get snowy in winter, how difficult the ground is to dig, etc).

Consider that even in such "small" cities like Helsinki (or the capital area in general, still a petty village on the big world standards), they are almost continuously adding new (short) tunnels all over the place, are moving some large roads underground (either in tunnel, or digging into a pit and adding a cover to build buildings on top of), and are currently pre-planning (i.e. not decided on yet) one large tunnel complex (for cars) going pretty much past the whole main city center, and also pre-planning a huge tunnel from Helsinki to Tallinn. Last one is certainly estimated to be quite pricey, but they also estimate that it has a good chance to be worth it in the long run.  Note also that pretty much all tunnels here go into hard bedrock. Some consider that as expensive, here they have done it so long that IIRC, now they like it more than softer materials (because less money is needed for making supports etc.)  Ages ago they also made the main tunnel network for putting some heat/water/whatnot pipes/cables into, large enough to drive maintenance cars in.  I'd think if tunnel digging was "crazy" expensive, digging tunnels for mere pipes would not have been on the top of the project list to fund.

Oh, and this one https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P%C3%A4ij%C3%A4nne_Water_Tunnel.  A bedrock tunnel (and world's second longest tunnel, too) just for water (and a bit of electricity generation from that water flow along the way) - We must have been crazy.. :P


All that said, I'm not trying to claim that Musk's this particular idea is good, I just wouldn't drop it due to just including tunnels in the idea. (He has some other, lets say "less than good" ideas, too.)
I would not disqualify this concept solely on the basis of tunnels generically being expensive. If we think about the end game being: 'get people where they want to go faster and/or lower cost'.

Important considerations for Los Angeles:
1. Seismic activity increases the cost of any structure considerably.
2. The city is spread out over a large area
3. The nature of the industries in LA avoid a concentrated rush hour - it's just busy all the time.
4. As slow as the freeways are, the trains, buses, and subways are almost always slower even if the stations are close to your endpoints.

If you have to get to the station, get on the subway, then transfer to a bus, then walk a mile.....it makes the cars look like they are traveling at the speed of sound. So, for a method of transportation to really have a positive impact - it needs to be vastly larger and vastly more efficient than the existing train, subway, and bus system already in place. Even if public transportation was free to use - I would still have a car because I cannot waste so much time.  The number of tunnels and on/off stations would have to be enormous before anyone would be able to see an improvement. At that point, presumably, obscene amounts of money would have been spent either by the city or private industry. The city would need to see a productivity improvement to justify the cost in tax revenue, the private industry needs to see an operating profit. Either way - it needs to make financial sense which, at best, is a very long-term outlook measured in decades if it ever works at all.

Musk loves very long-shot ideas and perhaps he still has the charisma necessary to raise the massive capital. My thinking is that he will struggle to get anything off the ground unless Tesla planes out and trands in the direction of profitablity. After all, making a car company is a much smaller task than developing an all-new transportation system from scratch under one of the busiest cities on the planet.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2018, 06:42:53 pm by rx8pilot »
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Online Mr. Scram

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I don't think that starting and running a car company that challenges the conventional views and industry substantially and starting another company that is the first to relaunch rockets into orbit and puts objects on a transmartian trajectory should be considered more trivial endeavours that revamping public transport. Complex operations where transportation infrastructure is built and rebuilt while in operation happens every day in almost every country in the world. It's by no means a small feat, but also far from rare.

You're correct in that Musk loves long-shot ideas. I guess it's better to try a number of times and succeed once or twice and do something great than to play it safe and never do much that's very exciting. Our society and progress is built upon the successes of our ancestors. Not the many more failures.
 

Online TomS_

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I'd bet that a mars colony would have a massive outbreak of drama within a few months.

Just turn it in to a reality TV show.  :-DD
 

Offline beanflying

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Want to see Elon look awkward speaking about the tunnel HE built with HIS amazing technology. :horse:

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Offline coppercone2

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thunderfoot is a bit of a rage lord
i can't really stand watching him because its so hateful and he grasps at straws alot.

is no one else reminded of the tabloidish news paper from "predator 2" by his style of videos filled with sarcastic tone of voice and cartoon clips?
« Last Edit: December 24, 2018, 01:58:04 pm by coppercone2 »
 

Offline beanflying

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For comparison mainstream media fawning and swallowing the overhype
https://youtu.be/16crrnO4b6A
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Offline coppercone2

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also what are thunderfoots qualifications as a engineer ?

normally I don't care but I swear like 99% of what he says is non-constructive and extremely pulpy

I say engineer not researcher with a big budget. he is a food scientist that keeps getting involved in discourse about structural engineering and electronics. did he ever work as a designer, test engineer or other practical field? did this man ever get his hands dirty with product design, analysis, company bureaucracy and government regulations? most of what elon musk is doing is extremely difficult. A big part of this is because he does not have the money to implement the stuff he wants, he needs a astronomical budget to do this stuff where its not a complete nose bleed of proving yourself to others constantly IMO.  All this stuff is major societal changes, and not from a systems engineering prospective like a new web site or something but from a novel infrastructure prospective. This is safety critical human interface engineering thats distributed. Makes a MTA look like a joke. It's an underground transit system without a central control or even schedule, without rails, interlocks, and user owned train cars.

IMO its like comparing telegraph offices to home internet connections.

Electric cars are not exactly new? What kinda drivel is this? IDK how to watch this guy.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2018, 02:24:30 pm by coppercone2 »
 

Offline Bud

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 If there is a mad one here it is Musk. And why he always talk like he is on drugs?
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Online chris_leyson

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Many cities have underground transit sytems and for the most part they work extremely well. London underground claim to handle 1.35 billion passengers annually that's nearly 4 million passenger journeys every day. London buses move around 2 billion passengers annually, neary 6 million passenger journeys every day. Just trains and buses is 9 million passenger jouneys/day.
Clearly this scheme is not going to replace mass transit systems any day soon, well not for Greater London anyway.
 

Offline vk3yedotcom

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A view from a transport planner professional

"It doesn't scale"

https://humantransit.org/2018/12/elon-musks-tunnel-it-doesnt-scale-so-it-doesnt-matter.html
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Offline beanflying

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I think Musk liked the Jetsons as a kid but as he clearly doesn't like the freedom of flying cars (not that they are sensible anyway  :palm: :palm:) and because he can't charge for the sky lets build a tunnel and avoid all reason and logistical considerations as we do it. Clearly an visionary of Timothy Leary proportions  ::)
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Offline labjr

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He can do anything that involves government subsidies. Meanwhile he flies in his private jet.
 

Online rx8pilot

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Many cities have underground transit sytems and for the most part they work extremely well. London underground claim to handle 1.35 billion passengers annually that's nearly 4 million passenger journeys every day. London buses move around 2 billion passengers annually, neary 6 million passenger journeys every day. Just trains and buses is 9 million passenger jouneys/day.
Clearly this scheme is not going to replace mass transit systems any day soon, well not for Greater London anyway.

Los Angeles even has a subway system that moves a lot of people relative to its size. It has taken decades to build it, massive amounts of money, and it is very limited in terms of usability.

Musk is proposing something considerably less efficient.
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Offline coppercone2

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but all that stuff has central control and schedules with a transit board.
 

Offline wraper

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Many cities have underground transit sytems and for the most part they work extremely well. London underground claim to handle 1.35 billion passengers annually that's nearly 4 million passenger journeys every day. London buses move around 2 billion passengers annually, neary 6 million passenger journeys every day. Just trains and buses is 9 million passenger jouneys/day.
Clearly this scheme is not going to replace mass transit systems any day soon, well not for Greater London anyway.

Los Angeles even has a subway system that moves a lot of people relative to its size. It has taken decades to build it, massive amounts of money, and it is very limited in terms of usability.
That's why it sucks.
Quote
Musk is proposing something considerably less efficient.
He is proposing something that can be built much cheaper and faster.
 

Offline beanflying

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He is proposing something that can be built much cheaper and faster.

Seriously do explain how it would be 'cheaper' and 'faster' :o

While you are at it consider the logistics of scale. How long did it take him to build one tunnel for a one way journey for one car at 50MPH? Scale that to a few million cars a day with interconnects and lifts. At the end of the journey what happens if there is a traffic jam above ground that backs up underground into the lanes at 150MPH?  :palm:
« Last Edit: December 25, 2018, 07:55:40 am by beanflying »
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Offline wraper

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Seriously do explain how it would be 'cheaper' and 'faster' :o
They dug 1.14 mile (1.83 km) test tunnel in one year. Boring company claims U$ 10 million per mile ($ 6.2 million per km).

https://www.boringcompany.com/testtunnel/
« Last Edit: December 25, 2018, 08:04:35 am by wraper »
 

Offline james_s

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I found the Los Angeles subway and light rail system to work very well and have used it extensively when visiting down there. I wish they had started building a similar system in the Seattle area decades ago because then we'd have it now. Infrastructure projects like this do take a long time to build and cost a lot of money, but they pay off hugely in the long term. The alternative is to do what Seattle did and talk about it for decades and then only really start building something when the whole region is fully built out making it extremely expensive to buy land and traffic is already unbearable. 20 years ago you could get from downtown Seattle to my house in about 20 minutes, now the last time I drove there it took me 2 hours to get home and that's not unusual. I take the bus to work which takes about an hour but subway or light rail on its own tracks would be much faster.

This tunnel idea using personal cars is a non-starter. It will only work with autonomous EVs which right there limits it to a niche for wealthy people and has already been hashed out, it doesn't scale. Any way you look at it, a train can move more people with less infrastructure and complexity than personal cars. Even if you ignore the multitude of issues with the elevators, a single lane tunnel with cars going 150mph is less throughput than 3 freeway lanes moving at 50mph.
 

Offline beanflying

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$10 million/mile for what is never explained ::) And do the numbers for a meager 1 million cars per day. It is a financial turd before you even get near the logistics.

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Offline wraper

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This tunnel idea using personal cars is a non-starter. It will only work with autonomous EVs which right there limits it to a niche for wealthy people and has already been hashed out, it doesn't scale. Any way you look at it, a train can move more people with less infrastructure and complexity than personal cars. Even if you ignore the multitude of issues with the elevators, a single lane tunnel with cars going 150mph is less throughput than 3 freeway lanes moving at 50mph.
They claim autonomous vehicles for pedestrians as well. You won't need a car to take a ride.
 

Offline james_s

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Seriously do explain how it would be 'cheaper' and 'faster' :o
They dug 2 mile (3.2 km) test tunnel in one year. Boring company claims U$ 10 million per mile ($ 6.2 million per km).

Then maybe they can dig more useful subway tunnels at a lower cost than is currently being done. Rail is a very efficient way to move large numbers of people at high speeds without the logistical nightmare of getting a bunch of individual cars running through the tunnels. Imagine the nightmare of a breakdown or crash occurring in one of them. Sure autonomous cars will not crash often but it's silly to think that failures will never occur. If it ever approached a useful throughput there would be enough individual cars that I would bet some sort of malfunction would be a weekly occurrence. Flat tire, sensor failure, dead battery, debris, you name it, it will happen.
 

Offline james_s

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They claim autonomous vehicles for pedestrians as well. You won't need a car to take a ride.

We already have those in every major city, they're called "buses" or "trains". They've been in service for more than half a century.
 
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Offline wraper

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They claim autonomous vehicles for pedestrians as well. You won't need a car to take a ride.

We already have those in every major city, they're called "buses" or "trains". They've been in service for more than half a century.
And they drive within 2D facing exactly the same problems that cars have.  :palm: You cannot bypass congestions unless build multiple layers. Think about why we have multilayer PCBs.
 


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