Elon Musk’s tunneling and transportation startup The Boring Company (TBC) is ramping up hiring about six weeks after landing a $48.7 million commercial contract to build and operate an underground “people mover” in Las Vegas.
The company’s website has posted more than a dozen new job openings in Las Vegas, as well another 15 at its headquarters in Hawthorne, California. That’s a tiny number of jobs when compared to openings at Musk’s two other companies, SpaceX and Tesla. Still, it shows the company is attempting to scale up and move beyond the status of Musk pet project. (TBC hasn’t publicized how many people it employs; estimates from various sources put it at more than 80 people, although there’s evidence of overlap between SpaceX and TBC.)
After receiving approval from the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, TBC secured the contract in May to build an underground loop system that shuttles people.
The initial design for the project, dubbed Campus Wide People Mover, or CWPM, will focus on the Las Vegas Convention Center, which is currently in the midst of an expansion that is expected to be completed in time for CES 2021. The newly expanded Las Vegas Convention Center will span about 200 acres once completed. The people mover is supposed to be complete and ready for customers by December 2020.
This underground people mover will involve the construction of twin tunnels for vehicles and one pedestrian tunnel, according to contract documents. The twin tunnels are expected to be less than a mile. There will be three underground stations for passenger loading and unloading and an elevator or escalator system for passenger access to each station.
TBC is looking to fill the kind of jobs one might expect for such an engineering-heavy endeavor, including civil and tunnel engineers, construction manager and lead architect.
Once completed, the people mover is supposed to whisk people between stops at high speeds in modified electric Tesla vehicles. The contract describes these as autonomous electric vehicles, or AEVs. The standard AEVs will be Tesla Model X and Model 3 vehicles, the company said. It plans to use modified Tesla Model X chassis for a “high-occupancy” AEV that will transport up to 16 passengers with both sitting and standing room.
(It should be noted that Tesla vehicles on roads today are not self driving, and instead have an advanced driver assistance system that handles certain tasks on highways, such as lane steering and adaptive cruise control.)
Before it opens to the public, the contract dictates that TBC test the system for three months.
While the project is limited for now, TBC has said that the project could someday connect downtown, the Las Vegas Convention Center, the Las Vegas Boulevard Resort Corridor and McCarran International Airport.