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COVID derails Musk’s plan to shuttle CES attendees in underground Teslas

If CES 2021 were taking place in Las Vegas as usual, Elon Musk’s underground loop tunnels would’ve been up and running to whisk conference attendees underground from one convention hall to the other. 

Instead, the Musk-owned Boring Company’s Las Vegas Convention Center Loop is fully excavated beneath the massive convention buildings, but is not yet operational. With COVID-19 restrictions forcing a virtual CES this year, no one is traveling above ground, let alone below it. 

The Loop will be an “underground public transportation system” that uses modified Tesla electric vehicles (Models X and 3) that will purportedly zoom from station to station at 155 mph. The plan is that the cars will eventually be autonomous, but that part isn’t quite ready yet, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

A new convention center building, West Hall, was also slated to make its debut at CES 2021 and would have been the Loop’s third stop. In an email, a CES spokesperson said: “The Loop was not delayed and would actually be open to CES attendees now if we were in Las Vegas.” 

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) is in charge of the Boring Company’s Loop plans and the two one-way tunnels under the Convention Center, along with three stations, cost the LVCVA $52.5 million to build. It recently took over the bankrupt Las Vegas Monorail aboveground train system that shut down at the start of the pandemic. Last month, the LVCVA effectively approved an extension to the Boring Company’s tunnel system throughout Vegas as part of a larger 10-mile loop

An LVCVA spokesperson confirmed that the convention center Loop is “substantially complete” with only “finishing touches remaining.” It has not yet been officially unveiled since shows and conventions were paused in Vegas. 

The spokesperson wrote in an email that the authority is still determining when an opening event for the underground tunnels would be appropriate.

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