Author Topic: Elon The Boring Company  (Read 265908 times)

Offline Ludus

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Re: Elon The Boring Company
« Reply #1280 on: 05/18/2018 02:32 PM »

- The Loop concept seems flawed. The network packet switching analogy doesnít to me seem to fit with physical movement. Small example - what if one ďpacketĒ breaks down? Itís a tube - all the other packets behind it stack up. And how to you get to that packet to rescue it? Shut down the tube and all on/off branches ahead of it to back down a tugger / repair packet? I have many others, but that illustrates my point

Every unit in the system is completely under the systemís control so if you need to say reverse the flow of traffic from some point, you can. If traffic is stopped at a point, all the traffic behind it can simultaneously accelerate in reverse and empty the tunnel at high speed in a coordinated way. All the traffic would immediately adjust flows to deal with the change. A more common alternative might be just having the skate behind the one broken down push it out. The Loop system starts out as a system of networked autonomous vehicles from the first day so traffic can behave much more like packet switching than conventional traffic.

Offline guckyfan

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Re: Elon The Boring Company
« Reply #1281 on: 05/18/2018 03:13 PM »
I watched the talk. I was a little disappointed. It was pretty light on anything concrete (hah!).

I am not sure what you expected. It was full of technical info. He clearly laid out how he wants to achieve 10 times faster drilling which will bring down cost by a huge margin. Beyond what can be had from smaller tunnels.

Musk probably ruffled many feathers in the tunnel boring community. Feel very dismissive of very real issues - kinda like his reaction to questions about radiation during Mars transits or on Mars itself.

Feathers ruffled come naturally when you take on another industry with disruptive concepts. Just remember the reactions to SpaceX. Dismissive on radiation issues when he clearly lays out his way, the only presently possible way, of dealing with them, faster transits?


- The Loop concept seems flawed. The network packet switching analogy doesnít to me seem to fit with physical movement. Small example - what if one ďpacketĒ breaks down? Itís a tube - all the other packets behind it stack up. And how to you get to that packet to rescue it? Shut down the tube and all on/off branches ahead of it to back down a tugger / repair packet? I have many others, but that illustrates my point

The pods will have two motors, very likely. They may slow down but given the controlled environment full breakdown will be very rare. Dealing with such rare events will be possible. Like what was described by Ludus, one post up.

Online johnfwhitesell

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Re: Elon The Boring Company
« Reply #1282 on: 05/18/2018 03:39 PM »
- Not much talk on the tech - but some lofty allusions.

It's not really a technology problem like landing a rocket or making a cheap battery.  The reason this hasn't been done before has been nobody has tried.  Tunnels this size are generally just one-off pedestrian paths where the setup is going to be longer then the boring time.  With larger tunnels they cant go any faster because they need to spend so much time putting up supports.  With smaller tunnels they already bore at faster speeds.  That's why all the tech they talk about is ramping up the power and putting up supports faster, that's all they need.
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Offline RedLineTrain

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Re: Elon The Boring Company
« Reply #1283 on: 05/18/2018 08:05 PM »
I thought the presentation had enough technical detail for a an audience that was intended to be non-technical (not sure that this intention was achieved).

A few things.

*Godot, Line Storm, and Prufrock are the TBMs in the stable going from least custom to most custom.  Some nice detail about the introduction of an electric locomotive, passing lane, fast muck dump, automated segment placement, and segment production.

*The "piecemeal" environmental review arguments were addressed head-on.  Good.  We'll have to see whether that is strong enough for the courts.

*Musk addressed objections from the LA Metro by stating that they would go underneath LA Metro's tunnels.  So perhaps there is now a truce.

*Culver City was not thanked.  I'm guessing that Culver City city council is now insufficiently supportive to be included in the 2.7-mile test tunnel.
« Last Edit: 05/18/2018 10:30 PM by RedLineTrain »

Online ccross20

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Re: Elon The Boring Company
« Reply #1284 on: 05/18/2018 08:15 PM »
I feel like there is a big inefficiency bringing the pod to the surface for each stop. This was fine when each pod was only carrying one car, but now that there are potentially 16 people going to different stops some of the riders are going to have to go up and down possibly over 10 times just to get to their stop. It seems like it would make more sense to have elevators take riders down to meet the pod at the tube level, otherwise people will spend 90% of the their time in the system going up and down instead of horizontally.

Online DigitalMan

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Re: Elon The Boring Company
« Reply #1285 on: 05/18/2018 08:18 PM »
I feel like there is a big inefficiency bringing the pod to the surface for each stop. This was fine when each pod was only carrying one car, but now that there are potentially 16 people going to different stops some of the riders are going to have to go up and down possibly over 10 times just to get to their stop. It seems like it would make more sense to have elevators take riders down to meet the pod at the tube level, otherwise people will spend 90% of the their time in the system going up and down instead of horizontally.

Where did you get that idea?  Every presentation made by The Boring Company clearly states it is an express service directly to the one and only stop you are going to.

Online speedevil

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Re: Elon The Boring Company
« Reply #1286 on: 05/18/2018 08:32 PM »
Where did you get that idea?  Every presentation made by The Boring Company clearly states it is an express service directly to the one and only stop you are going to.
Mathematics pretty much implies it once you get over a handful of destinations, otherwise it degrades to one person in most of the pods most of the time.
All of the more involved presentations have made some mention that any plans shown are quite notional, and Elons most recent statements made this very clear 'we do not have enough information to submit full plans' (paraphrased).

Online ccross20

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Re: Elon The Boring Company
« Reply #1287 on: 05/18/2018 08:36 PM »
I feel like there is a big inefficiency bringing the pod to the surface for each stop. This was fine when each pod was only carrying one car, but now that there are potentially 16 people going to different stops some of the riders are going to have to go up and down possibly over 10 times just to get to their stop. It seems like it would make more sense to have elevators take riders down to meet the pod at the tube level, otherwise people will spend 90% of the their time in the system going up and down instead of horizontally.

Where did you get that idea?  Every presentation made by The Boring Company clearly states it is an express service directly to the one and only stop you are going to.

If this were true then at rush hour there would be lots of pods driving around with only 1 person in it. I just don't see how that would be economical. What's the benefit of bringing the pod to the surface anyway? That's a very large hole you have to cut vertically which involves dealing with utilities and surface real estate. I'm all for what Elon is doing, I just don't see it being viable as it is currently being presented, but I'm excited to see what the future holds.
« Last Edit: 05/18/2018 08:37 PM by ccross20 »

Offline aero

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Re: Elon The Boring Company
« Reply #1288 on: 05/18/2018 09:06 PM »
Bringing the pods to the surface is left over from transporting cars. Drive the car onto the pod, lower it down and off it goes. If the system morphs into a pure people mover then people elevators would seem appropriate.

But then think about timing. Loading the pod on the surface eliminates any delay caused by someone dropping the groceries at the bottom of the elevator. If the pod leaves without that person then that person needs to find the next pod going to his/her destination, which may not leave via the same elevator. It's not like a bus stop where all buses follow the same route.
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Online DigitalMan

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Re: Elon The Boring Company
« Reply #1289 on: 05/18/2018 09:51 PM »
I look forward to TBC refining and focusing their ideas.  We'll see what is economical and what is possible.

Offline Ludus

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Re: Elon The Boring Company
« Reply #1290 on: 05/19/2018 04:41 AM »
I feel like there is a big inefficiency bringing the pod to the surface for each stop. This was fine when each pod was only carrying one car, but now that there are potentially 16 people going to different stops some of the riders are going to have to go up and down possibly over 10 times just to get to their stop. It seems like it would make more sense to have elevators take riders down to meet the pod at the tube level, otherwise people will spend 90% of the their time in the system going up and down instead of horizontally.

My take on this (and itís not supported by anything TBC said) is the Loop design is really about moving those standard people pods intermediate distances (say 5-20 miles) and the pods themselves would be AVs that roll on and off skates and otherwise behave on surface streets like AVs. The Pods would be part of Tesla Network along with Other Tesla AVs and would behave like a multi rider Uber. Passengers would be sorted based on destination by TN BEFORE the pods make use of Loop. You use your phone to request a specific ride and the system picks you up with a specific pod that has matched you with other passengers also requesting rides to the same general  area.

Even without Pods that roll around on surface streets as AVs, Tesla Network could sort riders by destination. Your App would send you to a specific pop up location out of several and direct you onto a specific pod out of several. Unlike a subway and more like Uber, the system would know every passenger personally and their destinations.

The people going to LAX get directed to different pods than the people going to The Getty.

TBC doesnít want itís plans dependent on AV tech that has yet to be demonstrated and which adds even more confusing differences from what people are used to, so they just discuss the Pods in pop-up mode.
« Last Edit: 05/19/2018 04:54 AM by Ludus »

Offline rsdavis9

Re: Elon The Boring Company
« Reply #1291 on: 05/19/2018 11:30 AM »
The idea of all people movement happening on the surface and then a pod with 1 to 10 people all go to the same destination is what makes this system better than subway or bus. No underground stations. Autonomous vehicles would make it even nicer but for the first iteration, people on the surface all go to a specific pod at a specific time and board. Surface being on the street or in a building or wherever there is a vertical shaft. Maybe pods should be smaller and only hold 4 people at max. The best analogy is our current highway system and personal cars. The difference is that boring owns the cars and does the transport in the tunnel system. Sort of like how the airline system does transport. Is it better to do spoke and central or just do direct path. If people are willing to wait longer before boarding direct path can be the same as spoke and central(better word here?).
Edit: spoke and hub
« Last Edit: 05/19/2018 12:00 PM by rsdavis9 »
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Offline Jcc

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Re: Elon The Boring Company
« Reply #1292 on: 05/19/2018 11:58 AM »
One key to making the system work will be real-time routing. On their cell phone, they put in their desired destination, current location read from GPS or put in desired start point and time, and the app will show a few options for start and stop location and times, and the rider picks one and proceeds to the start point. The rider arriving late at the start point will be an issue, but after a while, riders will be accustomed to arrive on time so they don't miss the pod.

Offline AncientU

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Re: Elon The Boring Company
« Reply #1293 on: 05/19/2018 08:46 PM »
One key to making the system work will be real-time routing. On their cell phone, they put in their desired destination, current location read from GPS or put in desired start point and time, and the app will show a few options for start and stop location and times, and the rider picks one and proceeds to the start point. The rider arriving late at the start point will be an issue, but after a while, riders will be accustomed to arrive on time so they don't miss the pod.

Agree that real time routing is a key ingredient.  Notice how many buses drive by with almost zero passengers at non-peak times?  This is always an issue with blind routing... buses have to run just in case someone wants a ride.  Pods can go or no as demand dictates, not schedule. An intelligent system can learn where and when pods are needed... commuters, for example are fairly predictable, while demand variability can also be characterized.
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Offline Coastal Ron

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Re: Elon The Boring Company
« Reply #1294 on: 05/19/2018 09:09 PM »
Agree that real time routing is a key ingredient.  Notice how many buses drive by with almost zero passengers at non-peak times?  This is always an issue with blind routing... buses have to run just in case someone wants a ride.  Pods can go or no as demand dictates, not schedule. An intelligent system can learn where and when pods are needed... commuters, for example are fairly predictable, while demand variability can also be characterized.

Don't think you'll be able to always have full vehicles. Humans flow to different areas according to patterns, but those patterns don't mean that it will be easy to accommodate.

For instance, if you have people living in suburbs but working in a central city, then in the morning you'll need lots of capacity out in the suburbs to transport workers to the central city. But then the demand for transport out of the city at that time in the morning is very low, so you end up with vehicles waiting around with no demand.

However in the afternoon and evening the workers then reverse direction and leave the central city to flow back out to the suburbs where maybe some are going in the opposite direction, but likely not.

It's a demand and distribution problem that does not magically go away with tunnels and autonomous cars...
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Offline Ludus

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Re: Elon The Boring Company
« Reply #1295 on: 05/20/2018 12:55 AM »
Agree that real time routing is a key ingredient.  Notice how many buses drive by with almost zero passengers at non-peak times?  This is always an issue with blind routing... buses have to run just in case someone wants a ride.  Pods can go or no as demand dictates, not schedule. An intelligent system can learn where and when pods are needed... commuters, for example are fairly predictable, while demand variability can also be characterized.

Don't think you'll be able to always have full vehicles. Humans flow to different areas according to patterns, but those patterns don't mean that it will be easy to accommodate.

For instance, if you have people living in suburbs but working in a central city, then in the morning you'll need lots of capacity out in the suburbs to transport workers to the central city. But then the demand for transport out of the city at that time in the morning is very low, so you end up with vehicles waiting around with no demand.

However in the afternoon and evening the workers then reverse direction and leave the central city to flow back out to the suburbs where maybe some are going in the opposite direction, but likely not.

It's a demand and distribution problem that does not magically go away with tunnels and autonomous cars...

There is some opportunity to be creative with pricing to influence demand. My guess is unlike Uber that has a base rate floor and surge pricing to bring out more drivers, Tesla Network and Loop will have a rate ceiling that getís discounted, since they donít have drivers to motivate but do have to try to distribute load to try to cut down wasted capacity.

The system could gradually encourage more travel to shift to low demand periods. The marginal cost of giving rides in off hours for a system with electric vehicles just sitting around is pretty low and might be subsidized to zero, especially for people who could most use it. Free or cheap travel might create a feedback effect with businesses shifting hours to take advantage of the fact.

The biggest economic reason for traffic congestion is a lack of pricing signals to distribute demand. AV/Loop networks could help a bit with this.

Offline chalz

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Re: Elon The Boring Company
« Reply #1296 on: 05/20/2018 06:16 AM »
The system could gradually encourage more travel to shift to low demand periods. The marginal cost of giving rides in off hours for a system with electric vehicles just sitting around is pretty low and might be subsidized to zero, especially for people who could most use it. Free or cheap travel might create a feedback effect with businesses shifting hours to take advantage of the fact.
You could shift demand in space as well as time. Get the exact journey you want for $2 or get a dollar off if you catch this other pod that is stopping 3 blocks away.

Finding out what flexibility people will have is going to be a big part of the early business. Maybe people are willing to stop at three other places as long as they eventually get exactly where they want.

Also as a consumer will I be able to know something about where the pods are and be able to fit my time to them? If I see a pod coming in 2 minutes that goes nearly where I want could I grab the opportunity rather than wait for the precise one I want.

So much about how it will work is not physical but algorithmic. Very different to rockets. Cars are somewhere between.

Offline meekGee

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Re: Elon The Boring Company
« Reply #1297 on: 05/20/2018 10:14 AM »
Focusing on vehicle occupancy is like focusing on specific rocket attributes instead of on overall cost (The F9 lesson)

For example, reduced travel latency and wait times (which comes at the expense of efficiency) will make more people use the system (in the long run).  This in turn means more people during rush hour, which makes it easier to bundle them into p2p trips with no intermediate stops.

With higher traffic, dig more tunnels, since unlike a subway, this can be a mesh network.
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Offline Oli

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Re: Elon The Boring Company
« Reply #1298 on: 05/20/2018 12:19 PM »
- The Loop concept seems flawed. The network packet switching analogy doesnít to me seem to fit with physical movement. Small example - what if one ďpacketĒ breaks down? Itís a tube - all the other packets behind it stack up. And how to you get to that packet to rescue it? Shut down the tube and all on/off branches ahead of it to back down a tugger / repair packet? I have many others, but that illustrates my point

Yeah I think they need at least one service lane. The project in the picture below is similar (but for cargo only at low speed), and has a service lane in the center.



In general I think it would make more sense to make priority lanes on highways for autonomous high capacity vehicles (such as buses). A completely separate infrastructure is always difficult to pull off economically.
 
« Last Edit: 05/20/2018 12:20 PM by Oli »

Offline AncientU

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Re: Elon The Boring Company
« Reply #1299 on: 05/20/2018 01:28 PM »
...

In general I think it would make more sense to make priority lanes on highways for autonomous high capacity vehicles (such as buses). A completely separate infrastructure is always difficult to pull off economically.

This approach misses the point -- there no longer is room to add lanes for whatever reason.  Los Angeles has been doing exactly that for 50 years, and... gridlock.  Costs for extra lanes/interchanges/etc. is astronomical, too, and the traffic tie-ups at every interchange only get worse.  The limitations of two dimensions have been reached. 

You are correct that adding a completely separate infrastructure is costly, but some times the only answer.  Take the US train system. 60-80 years ago, most everyone traveled by train when they had to go great distances (more than a few hundred miles); had we stuck to that mode, we could have added extra tracks and autonomous high capacity unit trains... but using a new dimension, air travel (as well as the interstate highway system) has leapt well beyond anything train travel alone could have accomplished.

Going underground is the equivalent for cities.  High speed tunnel boring is the singular enabling technology.  QED
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