Boring Company Loop Drivers Warned What to Do If There's Traffic

The manual for Elon Musk's futuristic transportation service gives advice to drivers on looking for parking and sitting in traffic.
August 18, 2021, 1:28pm
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It's the futuuuuureeee Credit: Ethan Miller / Getty
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The Boring Company's Las Vegas Loop—two parallel tunnels under the Las Vegas Convention Center in which a fleet of Teslas driven by humans shuffle three to five passengers at a time at 40 miles per hour or slower—has been billed by boosters and eager city leaders as a futuristic transportation service. But this boosterism is undermined not only by the bare facts of the glorified underground golf cart service, but also the manual with which drivers are trained, which instructs them what to do if there is traffic in the tunnel or all the parking spaces are taken.

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In a document obtained by Motherboard via a public records request, drivers are told what to do in the event the driver arrives at the wrong destination, "mistakenly does not stop" at a station, or finds "All Parking Stalls are already occupied." 

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Screenshot: Operations Manual via Public Records request

The Loop has three stations with a total of 29 parking spaces, or "stalls," according to the manual; two have 10 and the third has nine. The manual doesn't say how many Teslas are in the fleet, but other outlets have reported a fleet size of 62 Teslas, so it's certainly possible a traffic jam could develop at one of the stations. In such an instance, drivers are instructed to inform passengers, "Sorry, all the Parking Stalls are occupied. We’ll be parking soon.” 

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Screenshot: Operations Manual via public records request

Not being able to find parking in a parking lot is an incredibly mundane problem, which is precisely why it is noteworthy that it occurs inside the Vegas Loop tunnel, a project that has been repeatedly promoted as an anti-traffic solution. It is also noteworthy that The Boring Company's own training materials acknowledge it may take several minutes for Teslas to unload passengers and then load new ones, a basic fact of transit service that has been conveniently glossed over while promoting hypothetical projects to make it seem like the service can transport more passengers than it will.

A traffic jam isn't the only problem Tesla drivers could encounter. If the driver stops at the wrong station, they are to say, "Apologies, I’ve accidentally stopped at the wrong destination. Please remain in the vehicle and you’ll be at the desired destination within 2 minutes.” And if they mistakenly do not stop at a station they're supposed to, they say "Sorry for the delay. You'll be at your desired destination within 2 minutes.” The Boring Company did not respond to questions Motherboard asked about the manual or how often traffic jams occur in the Loop.

The training manual covers many other scenarios, as first reported by TechCrunch, including providing canned scripts for drivers in case they are asked questions about Elon Musk, Tesla, or any number of other "extremely sensitive" topics. Most hilariously, drivers are told to call Musk "Awesome! [Inspiring/Motivating/etc.]" and "a great leader!" The script also includes a response for if riders ask about the safety of the vehicles traveling through the tunnels, but the response is redacted.