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Technology

Elon Musk's tunnel company to surface in China

Tesla chief says Boring Co. launch will happen late this month

A modified Tesla Model X drives into the tunnel entrance at a Boring Co. test tunnel in Hawthorne, California.   © Reuters

PALO ALTO, U.S. -- Elon Musk wants to dig tunnels in China.

The futuristic technologist and Tesla CEO recently announced via Twitter that Boring Co., his tunneling and transportation solution startup, will open a China unit later this month.

Musk is slated to speak at the World Artificial Intelligence Conference in Shanghai, which runs from Aug. 29 to 31. But he has added one more item to his itinerary and "will also be launching The Boring Company China on this trip," he said in a tweet.

Boring Co. was founded by Musk in 2016 after he complained about the traffic congestion in Los Angeles, where the charismatic CEO resides. Musk's solution: build underground tunnels where passengers will be moved in autonomous vehicles at high speeds.

The startup opened its first test tunnel under the California headquarters of SpaceX, the space transportation company Musk founded. And it recently landed its first commercial contract to build and operate an underground loop system that can whisk people around the Las Vegas Convention Center.

The $48.7 million Las Vegas contract involves building two tunnels, one for vehicles and one for pedestrians sitting in fully automated Tesla cars modified for tunnel transport.

Boring Co. has also proposed building a transit system in Chicago and a tunnel connecting New York City and Washington. Both plans are yet to be approved by regulators.

Boring Co. didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

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