Elon Musk’s start-up The Boring Company wants to “solve the problem of traffic jams” and speed up

Elon Musk is on all fronts. As Tesla and SpaceX continue to chart their course in spectacular fashion, start-up The Boring Company founded by the world’s richest man, which specializes in building tunnels in major cities, has raised $675 million, bringing its valuation to $5.675 billion. The funds raised are to be used to recruit employees in the engineering, operations and production departments, the company said. “Think about working at The Boring Company!” Elon Musk tweeted Thursday to his nearly 83 million followers. “Our goal is to solve the problem of traffic jams, which plagues all major cities on Earth.”

Investment funds Vy Capital and Sequoia Capital led this round, which was attended by Valor Equity Partners, Founders Fund, 8VC, Craft Ventures and DFJ Growth. The Boring Company said it wants to develop its Loop project, “an all-electric, net-zero emission, high-speed underground public transport system where passengers are transported to their destination without intermediate stops”. After receiving permission from local authorities last year, the start-up is developing a 29-mile (47 kilometer) network of tunnels to connect 51 stations in Las Vegas, Nevada. Its objective is to achieve a throughput of 57,000 passengers per hour.

For the time being, The Boring Company’s main operating underground in Las Vegas connects various buildings of the city’s main exhibition center where the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the annual high mass of electronics, is held audience. In January, videos circulated on social networks showing Teslas stopped because of traffic jams in this tunnel during a demonstration during CES.

At the end of 2018, Mr. Musk’s start-up also completed the construction of a tunnel in Hawthorne, in the Los Angeles area (California), used for research and development purposes. A test circuit where self-driving capsules reach speeds of over 600 miles per hour (965 km/h) has also been built at Hawthorne.

The Boring Company also says it is working on its tunnel drills, dubbed “Prufrock”, which should make it possible to “build mega-infrastructure in weeks rather than years and at a much lower cost”. Founded in 2016 by the boss of Tesla and SpaceX, the start-up aims to revolutionize urban transport.

Mr Musk suggested the vehicles could travel at 150 miles per hour (241 km/h). At the moment, the maximum speed allowed by local authorities in the Las Vegas tunnel is significantly lower.

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