Elon Musk's Boring Company just raised a fresh round of funding to build out its Loop project, an ambitious zero-emissions underground public transportation network that Musk has promised will help "defeat traffic." The company's first Loop is beneath the Las Vegas Convention Center, where it ferries passengers around in Teslas from one side of the massive complex to another, but will eventually extend to the Las Vegas Strip, the airport, and even Los Angeles, the company has said.
The company announced Wednesday that it has raised $675 million, bringing its total valuation to $5.7 billion. The funding will be dedicated to increasing hiring in engineering, operations, and production, as well as accelerating research on Prufrock, the company's proprietary tunnel boring machine designed to "construct mega-infrastructure projects in a matter of weeks instead of years," its announcement reads.
“Defeating traffic is the ultimate boss battle," Musk said in a statement. "Even the most powerful humans in the world cannot defeat traffic.”
Last October, Clark County Commissioners approved the full Vegas Loop, which will stretch 29 miles and include 51 stations. The current LVCC Loop is just 1.7 miles with three stations. The Boring Company will use the funding to build out the larger Loop, and also hinted at other Loop projects in development.
It's possible that the Vegas Loop will alleviate the city's traffic congestion, but $675 million also could've gone a long way toward building out a reliable, proven method of public transportation like a subway, or even extending the Las Vegas Monorail so it connects to actually useful places like the airport and downtown. It remains to be seen if Tesla tunnels are the public transit system of the future.
During Tesla's earnings call on Wednesday, Musk also hyped Tesla's long-awaited RoboTaxi, which is essentially a driverless Uber that also promises to be... a very big deal, or something. Tesla is slated to host a product event next year to launch the RoboTaxi for real this time, and is aiming for volume production in 2024.
"Looking at some of our projections, it would appear that a RoboTaxi ride will cost less than a ... subsidized bus ticket or a subsidized subway ticket," Musk said.