The Boring Company, a tunnel-digging startup founded by Elon Musk (Elon Musk), has been seven years old, but so far the tunnel project that the company has been able to demonstrate is only 2.4 miles long. This is mainly because successive project failures, high staff turnover and regulatory red tape have hindered the implementation of Musk's large tunnel project.
Reading the biography of Mr Musk by Walter Isaacson, you may notice that The Boring Company, Mr Musk's tunnel business, uses just three pages in his 615-page biography. This clearly proves that Musk's attention has shifted elsewhere in the past few years. Although he occasionally promotes The Boring Company on social media X, Musk last released new information about the company in April 2022. Steve Hill, chief executive of the public body that runs the Las Vegas Convention Centre (LVCVA), said Mr Musk had visited the LOOP tunnel project in Las Vegas "several times". Musk rarely shows up at the project site, according to three former employees.
The Boring Company is a far cry from SpaceX, but it is still one of the most valuable startups in the world. The company's market capitalization in 2022 is about $5.6 billion. A recent employee stock sale showed that the company's market capitalization was even more than $7 billion. The city of Las Vegas commissioned The Boring Company to build a 68-mile underground public transportation system, which has received preliminary approval, a huge vote of confidence for a start-up that has built only 2.4 miles of operating tunnels since its inception.
In 2016, Musk began to put his idea into practice, setting up TheBoring Company. The tunnel digger had planned to build an underground maze with small stations across the city where people could drive through the tunnel at 150 miles an hour in their own self-driving cars. According to Musk, the initial goal is to build a mile-long tunnel within a week.
Musk told a cheering crowd when he showed off Boring's demonstration tunnel in 2018, "finally, finally, there's something I think will solve the damn traffic problem." His idea is to let The Boring Company take charge of tunnel design, construction and operation, just like Tesla or SpaceX, to build tunnels faster, cheaper and better than ever before. To that end, the company has raised more than $795 million from venture capital firms.
There are few in-depth reports about The Boring Company. Projects from California, Illinois, Texas, Florida to Maryland all failed or disbanded. Over the past seven years, The Boring Company has built only 2.4 miles of operating tunnels.
In addition, the company has made it a secondary priority to operate self-driving cars in the tunnel, and the speed of transporting passengers in the Las Vegas underground tunnel is much milder, limited to less than 40 miles per hour. The company's abandonment of self-driving cars in the tunnel means it has to hire part-time drivers, paying one driver for each transport of one to three passengers. Currently, the Las Vegas Convention Center pays The Boring Company $4.5 million a year to operate the LOOP system. According to the passenger data and financial statements of the Las Vegas Convention Center in fiscal 2023, it is equivalent to $7.50 per ride. The Boring Company charges passengers $5 a day to use the tunnel from Resorts World to the convention center. In this way, The Boring Company is likely to be subsidizing costs to maintain its low ticket prices.
The Boring Company is currently managed by SpaceX engineer Steve Davis (Steve Davis). Former employees say that Davis does not usually devolve decision-making power, and that he is the only one who oversees every detail of the company, even if it is a few thousand dollars in parts orders, which requires Steve's direct approval. "
And former employees say The Boring Company employees and executives are almost always changing. They believe that this is mainly because Davis is responsible for all the work of the company. Although he is an excellent engineer, some employees say he lacks interpersonal skills. "he has no empathy," said one of the people familiar with the matter. "
"working at The Boring Company is like having a big fire drill every day because of the way Davis is managed," says one former executive. This, they say, stems from a deep-rooted anxiety, mainly from the urge to please Musk's constant demands.
Perhaps most importantly, the company seems to have lost the close attention of its founder, Musk. One former employee summed up the company's plight in one sentence: "Musk has a good idea about The Boring Company. It just hasn't been put into practice yet."
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