A company owned by Elon Musk has been chosen to dig an express route linking Chicago's downtown area to the O'Hare International Airport.
The company says on its website that each vehicle will carry eight to 16 people and travel at speeds of 125 to 150 miles per hour (200 to 240 kph).
The skates will travel at up to 150mph and take 12 minutes end to end at an estimated cost of $20 to $25 per ride, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Under the contract, Musk's company will design, fund, build and operate a high-speed loop connecting O'Hare Airport with downtown Chicago, the company said on its website. The Boring Company is promising that the system will transport passengers in 12 minutes with automated electric cars that carry 16 passengers (and their luggage) to a vehicle.
Musk hasn't given up on his original vision for an ultra-high-speed transport system.
The project will be entirely paid for by The Boring Company, which will generate revenue from ticket sales, advertising and merchandising.More news: LA prosecutors reviewing sexual assault case against Sylvester Stallone
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The SpaceX, Tesla and Boring Company CEO is set to talk tunnels Thursday in Los Angeles. One thing is clear: This is definitely a big win for The Boring Company, and it's a chance for Musk to prove that he can help major cities cut back on their traffic and transportation problems.
"Given his track record, we are taking his reputation and saying, "This is a guy in two other transportation modes who has not failed".
For the Loop, passengers are expected to ride in autonomous 16-passenger vehicles, or "skates", based loosely on Tesla's Model X SUV.The battery-powered vehicles will move along tracks with wheels on a concrete shelf much like a auto, while four stabilizing wheels on the sides would ride along curbs in the tunnel walls. The Chicago Express is a billion dollar project, but the technology is still unproven. Unlike the Hyperloop, a vacuum-sealed tube being built out by companies such as Virgin Hyperloop One and theoretically capable of speeds up to 600 miles per hour, the Chicago project will be designed with conventional tunnels at much slower speeds.
"Bringing Chicago's economic engines closer together will keep the city on the cutting edge of progress, create thousands of good-paying jobs and strengthen our great city for future generations", the mayor said in a written statement. That price tag would be significantly lower than recent subways built in the United States, which have cost from $600 million to over $2 billion per mile.
The plans to connect airports in Chicago and Los Angeles are a bit less ambitious than one Musk floated last summer, to connect New York City and Washington, D.C. "Almost like an autonomous, underground, multi-level vehicle system".