Building a massive network of underground tunnels is no small technological feat, but securing regulatory approval is arguably the biggest challenge.
Elon Musk, the serial entrepreneur, has said he wants to build a network of 30 underground tunnels beneath Los Angeles that can transport cars on an electric skate. Musk’s latest venture, the Boring Company, which is handling the project, has dug a 160-foot test tunnel on SpaceX’s parking lot to prove its technology.
Musk’s vision still has a long way to go before it becomes a reality, but the SpaceX and Tesla CEO secured a huge win last week when the Hawthorne City Council granted him permission to extend the tunnel two miles in a 4-1 vote, the Daily Breeze reported.
Although the council’s approval serves as a vote of confidence, the company will still need to secure an “encroachment permit” to start digging, The Verge reported.
The tunnel can be used only to test the company’s tunneling and electric-skate technology. The Boring Company did not immediately return Business Insider’s request for comment.
The Boring Company is testing a tunnel-boring machine, named Godot, that was used for a sewer project in Sunnyvale, California. The ultimate goal is to use it to learn how tunneling technology can be altered to dig tunnels faster and cheaper.
The company will also use the extension to test an electric skate that Musk has said could rocket cars through the tunnel at speeds of up to 130 mph.
The Boring Company has already installed the skate, which can fit a Tesla:
Musk aims to extend the tunnel to Los Angeles International Airport. However, the city of Hawthorne can request the Boring Company fill the tunnel back up with soil once the tests are complete, according to The Verge.