Monday, April 15, 2024
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CES 2022: ‘The Loop’, Elon Musk’s tunnel to avoid traffic jams, had its first failure

Elon Musk likes to microchip heads but doesn’t like jams. For this reason, through The Boring Company, he built the so-called Vegas Loop in Las Vegas, a network of tunnels designed to avoid traffic jams.

These tunnels already exist since last year and until now they had not reported any problems. However, the city holding CES put high demand on the LVCC West Station, which leads directly to the convention. So much so that a bottleneck was formed right where it was never going to happen.

True, it only lasted a few minutes for a day, but it did leave an image that contrasts with Musk’s original idea. One of the drivers who got caught in the Loop recorded the images and uploaded them to social networks, where they went viral.

The reason for this hold is that The Boring Company is using 70 Tesla vehicles to serve this year’s influx of attendees. And this number of cars is too much for the Loop that connects to CES, which was promised to have a two-minute journey and it actually takes almost four. Therefore, it is understood that it was a specific event.

The main concern of users is not with the bottleneck itself, but with the design of the tunnels. In the images you can see that the tunnel is very narrow – there is only one lane – and there is little room for maneuver in the event of an accident or fire.

Although there is nothing to worry about. The Boring Company itself explains on its website that there are several fire safety protocols through the tunnel. Of course there are emergency exits, fire detection systems, fire suppression systems and a first aid emergency communication system with incident classification.

This first traffic jam, which occurred due to exceptional circumstances, will not cause The Boring Company to leave Las Vegas. In fact, there are plans to continue building tunnels throughout the city: in October the expansion of the project was approved, which will go from the current three stations to a total of 51 and will also go from 2.7 kilometers in force at 46 kilometers.

A half empty ESC

Little assistance from the covid. AFP photo

Attendance at the CES technology fair in Las Vegas this week fell more than 75% compared to the previous edition two years ago, which was in person, the event organizer said on Friday.

The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) said on closing day that more than 40,000 people attended the multi-day event on The Strip in Las Vegas. This figure represents less than a quarter of the more than 170,000 that, according to the CTA, attended their 2020 convention.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the CTA decided to hold the 2021 edition online, but eight months ago the association agreed to once again hold the 2022 CES fair in Las Vegas. This turned out to be a challenge amid a worldwide increase in infections caused by the omicron variant of the coronavirus, which emerged late last year.

Conference attendees were asked to wear masks in the showrooms that opened Wednesday and to show proof of vaccination before arrival. But given the increase in Covid cases, several large technology companies decided not to participate a few weeks before the event took place.


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