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Elon Musk wants to whisk you from NYC to DC in 30 minutes with a new Hyperloop

Why it matters to you

Elon Musk says that his Boring Company is getting closer and closer to transporting folks, with the latest tunnel slated to run between DC and NY. Elon Musk’s next project may be a bit more … boring[1] than his previous endeavors. The founder of SpaceX[2] and Tesla[3] is accustomed to flashy enterprises and larger-than-life dreams (that all seem to be coming to fruition), and now, he’s turning his attention to a simple problem that plagues all of us: Traffic[4].

Because why shouldn’t it take us 29 minutes to get from New York to D.C.? With Musk’s Boring Company, this could be our new reality, especially now that he has approval to begin digging in Maryland[5]. Obviously, the man who conceptualized the Hyperloop[6] has never had the patience for sitting in gridlock, and last December, the entrepreneur took to Twitter to express his frustration, and more important, his solution. “Traffic is driving me nuts.

Am going to build a tunnel boring machine and just start digging…” he wrote cryptically on December 17 of last year. And just for good measure, he added later, “I am actually going to do this.”

Traffic is driving me nuts. Am going to build a tunnel boring machine and just start digging…

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 17, 2016[7]

Digging a bunch of tunnels[8] does hold the prospect of adding additional lanes to urban areas that can’t easily accommodate more lanes above ground. And given Musk’s track record in other areas, we can at least hope his solution is feasible.

Exciting progress on the tunnel front. Plan to start digging in a month or so.

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 25, 2017[9]

The tunnels for the Boring Company are slated to begin “across from my desk at SpaceX,” which is located near “Crenshaw and the 105 Freeway,” about five minutes from LAX, Musk said earlier this year. He’s also addressed concerns about earthquakes, noting that these natural phenomena “tend to have the biggest effect on the surface, like waves on water. That’s why LA can have a (lame, but getting better) subway.”

In late April, he spoke at a TED conference[10] where he outlined more concrete plans for his underground company. Per a concept video, Musk intends to drop cars (gently, of course), beneath Earth’s surface by way of a system of elevator platforms. Cars will drive onto designated areas, which will then be lowered beneath the ground.

Once underground, however, the cars won’t be driving themselves. Rather, they will be controlled autonomously by the system at large and sent to their final destinations at speeds of up to 130 miles per hour. We’ll soon be able to put Musk’s claims to the test, as the entrepreneur revealed in July[11] that he had received verbal government approval for The Boring Company to build an underground system that will take commuters from New York to Philadelphia to Baltimore to Washington, D.C. “NY-DC in 29 mins,” the founder tweeted.

While that may seem like a pipe dream, and involves speeds faster than currently planned, it’s inching closer to reality, as Maryland has given Musk the green light to begin digging a 10.3-mile tunnel beneath the Baltimore-Washington Parkway. This marks the first part of the New York to D.C. route, and is just one of many approvals Musk will need to actually bring the Boring Company to life in a real way. “This thing is real.

It’s exciting to see,” Maryland Transportation Secretary Pete Rahn said. “The word ‘transformational’ may be overused, but this is a technology that leapfrogs any technology that is out there today.

And it’s going to be here.”

Update: The Boring Project has approval to begin digging in Maryland, where it will complete the first part of its Hyperloop that wants to get you from New York to D.C. in under 30 minutes.

Editor’s Recommendations


  1. ^ boring (www.digitaltrends.com)
  2. ^ SpaceX (www.digitaltrends.com)
  3. ^ Tesla (www.digitaltrends.com)
  4. ^ Traffic (techcrunch.com)
  5. ^ Maryland (www.latimes.com)
  6. ^ Hyperloop (www.digitaltrends.com)
  7. ^ December 17, 2016 (twitter.com)
  8. ^ bunch of tunnels (www.digitaltrends.com)
  9. ^ January 25, 2017 (twitter.com)
  10. ^ TED conference (www.slashgear.com)
  11. ^ revealed in July (twitter.com)

KONG Puppy Snacks, 200 g – Small – Bargain Discount

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Discounted: Sale Best Buys

DHL’s hefty autonomous mail robot won’t take the jobs of delivery workers

Why it matters to you

Mail workers with dodgy necks and backs would welcome a robot buddy like PostBOT on their rounds. Delivery giant DHL has invested a great deal of time and money in developing delivery drones, and over the last few years has run several trials targeting isolated communities on small islands[1] and in mountainous regions[2]. Its latest autonomous[3] effort involves not a flying machine but instead a ground-based robot by the name of PostBOT.

If you’re a mail delivery worker, the good news is that PostBOT isn’t out to replace you, rather it wants to act as your buddy, accompanying you on your rounds, carrying all the mail, and, importantly, freeing up your hands so you can more easily deal with letters and packages on the move. Deutsche Post DHL Group announced[4] this month that it’s ready to start testing electric-powered PostBOTs in Bad Hersfeld, a town of about 30,000 people in central Germany. Designed by French robotics firm Effidence with input from DHL delivery staff, PostBOT is a hefty-looking machine that stands at around 150 centimeters.

It holds six mail trays and can carry loads of up to 330 pounds (150 kg), enough weight to vaporize all the discs in your back if you ever attempted to carry all that by yourself. Best leave it to PostBOT. On-board sensors track the legs of the mail carrier, ensuring both robot and human stay close to one another for the entirety of the round.

As you’d expect, those sensors also prevent PostBOT from barreling into obstacles, though it’s a safe bet that any nearby pedestrians will be quick to make space if they see this large and somewhat bulky robot coming their way. “Day in and day out, our delivery staff perform outstanding but exhausting work,” said J?rgen Gerdes of Deutsche Post DHL. “We’re constantly working on new solutions to allow our employees to handle this physically challenging work even as they continue to age.” And with Germany a nation of four seasons, PostBOT has been built to handle all weather conditions, ensuring year-round operation. Gerdes said many staff are already making use of ebikes (and etricycles) for mail deliveries, while the six-week PostBOT trial is expected to offer “important insights into how we can further develop the delivery process for our employees.”

Ground-based delivery robots have been getting increasing exposure in recent years, though up to now most of them have been concerned with grocery and fast-food orders[5].

As with drone technology, one of the main obstacles to their implementation are local authorities that need convincing of their reliability and safety[6].

Steve the mall-based security robot, for example, recently proved that some designs clearly aren’t quite ready[7].

Editor’s Recommendations


  1. ^ on small islands (www.digitaltrends.com)
  2. ^ in mountainous regions (www.digitaltrends.com)
  3. ^ autonomous (www.dhl.com)
  4. ^ announced (www.dpdhl.com)
  5. ^ grocery and fast-food orders (www.digitaltrends.com)
  6. ^ reliability and safety (www.digitaltrends.com)
  7. ^ clearly aren’t quite ready (www.digitaltrends.com)

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