Two Underwhelming Elon Musk Projects on Display at CES

Demonstrations at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas highlight the failures of Tesla's autonomous vehicles and the Boring Company's tunnels.

2 minute read

January 10, 2022, 10:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


According to an article by Alissa Walker, the failures of two highly anticipated Elon Musk projects were clearly articulated at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, where Tesla's autonomous cars and Musk's Boring Company tunnels were both on display.

After the Las Vegas tourism agency paid Musk's Boring Company $50 million to build tunnels under the city's convention center, video posted on social media showed cars stuck in traffic inside the tunnel, described horrifyingly by Walker as "the world's longest MRI machine." The tunnel, which was supposed to turn a 20-minute walk into a one-minute ride, was designed—and contractually obligated—to shuttle 4,000 people per hour during major trade shows at the convention center. To date, the tunnel moves roughly 1,300 people per hour. Walker notes that this is "about the capacity of standard (and, often, autonomous) people-movers all over Vegas."

Meanwhile, as part of a presentation about LIDAR technology, Tesla's autonomous cars consistently failed to identify a child-sized dummy, hitting the "child" every time. The presentation was demonstrating pedestrian detection systems which industry safety experts agree should be robust and redundant on automated vehicles.

Last month, Tesla was forced to recall almost half a million of its Model 3 and Model S cars after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) identified problems with the rearview camera and front hood, which could open without warning while driving. The agency is also investigating Tesla's autonomous driving features and other safety concerns.

Friday, January 7, 2022 in Curbed

Aerial view of homes on beach in Maui, Hawaii

Hawaii Passes First Legislation Regulating Short-Term Rentals Statewide

The new law will give counties the power to limit number or short-term rentals and convert existing short-term rental units back into long-term residential housing.

May 13, 2024 - USA Today

Aerial view of Oceanwide Plaza skyscrapers covered with graffiti tags.

LA’s Abandoned Towers Loom as a “$1.2 Billion Ruin of Global Capital”

Oceanwide Plaza, shuttered mid-construction after its developer filed for bankruptcy, has stood vacant on prime Los Angeles real estate since 2019.

May 21, 2024 - The Architect's Newspaper

Entrance to a drive-through car wash at night with green 'Enter' sign.

Ohio Towns Move to Ban New Car Washes

City officials in northeast Ohio are putting limits on how many car wash facilities can open in their towns.

May 16, 2024 - News 5 Cleveland

Aerial view of Oceanwide Plaza skyscrapers covered with graffiti tags.

LA’s Abandoned Towers Loom as a “$1.2 Billion Ruin of Global Capital”

Oceanwide Plaza, shuttered mid-construction after its developer filed for bankruptcy, has stood vacant on prime Los Angeles real estate since 2019.

May 21 - The Architect's Newspaper

Close-up of back windshield of Waymo autonomous car.

NHTSA Launches Investigations Into Two More Self-Driving Automakers

The federal agency is responding to reports of crashes and erratic behavior from Waymo and Zoox vehicles.

May 21 - Smart Cities Dive

Texas Townhomes

Austin Reduces Minimum Lot Size

Smaller lot sizes for single-family homes can make construction more affordable and homeownership available to more households.

May 21 - The Texas Tribune

News from HUD User

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Call for Speakers

Mpact Transit + Community

New Updates on PD&R Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.