Tesla drivers working at the Las Vegas Loop – Elon Musk’s underground tunnel transit system – reportedly have a strict script they must stick to which prohibits them from discussing crashes or the wild antics of Musk who has to be referred to as ‘a great leader’.
The alleged rules are outlined in a ‘Ride Script,’ which was obtained by TechCrunch through a public records request and explains how recruits must respond to the most anticipated questions from guests.
‘Your goal is to provide a safe ride for the passengers, not an entertaining ride. Keep conversation to a minimum so you can focus on the road,” the document reads. “Passengers will pepper you with questions. Here are some you may be asked and the recommended responses.”
If asked how often car crashes happen in the tunnel, which the document labels as ‘accidents,’ drivers must pretend they don’t know the answer and simply respond, “It’s a very safe system, and I’m not sure. You’d have to reach out to the company.”
Tesla drivers working at the Las Vegas Loop have a list of strict rules and can’t discuss car crashes, according to documents obtained by TechCrunch
The rules are outlined in a ‘Ride Script,’ which was obtained by TechCrunch through a public records request and explains how recruits must respond to the most anticipated questions from guests
Should customers ask about Elon Musk, drivers must praise him as ‘a great leader’ or say he is “awesome, motivating and supportive.’ Musk is pictured above at an unveiling for the first tunnel in Los Angeles, California, in December, 2018
According to TechCrunch, there were a number of other questions that drivers are told to avoid answering. This includes questions about the cost of constructing the tunnels – about $53million – and the number of employees hired by Musks’s Boring Company, which built the tunnel system in Las Vegas and another in Los Angeles.
Should a rider ask how long a driver has been with the company, the driver must respond, “Long enough to know these tunnels pretty well!” The document says that passengers won’t feel safe if they think their driver has only been with their company for a week, despite the number of rides they might have given in that time.
The document says, ‘do not share how long you’ve been employed here, but instead, find a way to evade the question or shift the focus.’
When it comes to questions about the eccentric billionaire behind the tunnels, drivers are told to say, ‘He’s awesome! Inspiring / motivating / etc.’ and asked if they like working for him, drivers are instructed to say, “Yup, he’s a great leader! He motivates us to do great work.”
‘Be as brief as possible, and do your best to shut down such conversation,’ the script reads. ‘This category of questions is extremely common and extremely sensitive. Public fascination with our founder is inevitable and may dominate the conversation. If passengers continue to force the topic, politely say, “I’m sorry, but I really can’t comment” and change the subject.’
When a customer asks how involved Musk is in the business, the driver must respond, “He’s the company founder, and has been very involved and supportive.”
If a customer asks about Musk’s bizarre tweeting tendencies, drivers must say, “Elon is a public figure. We’re just here to provide an awesome transportation experience!”
Musk’s underground transportation system located beneath the Las Vegas Convention Center campus was supposed to serve as a quick way to move convention attendees throughout the 200-acre campus, 40 feet beneath the ground in all-electric, self-driving Tesla vehicles
Many were immediately disappointed by the Loop when it first opened and was nothing like what Musk originally promised
And if they are asked about controversies regarding Musk’s treatment of employees, such as his strict anti-marijuana policy despite himself reportedly smoking pot with Joe Rogan, drivers must say, ‘I haven’t seen that article, but that hasn’t been my experience.’
Musk began The Boring Company, with its tongue-in-cheek name, after announcing on Twitter about four years ago that ‘traffic is driving me nuts’ and he was ‘going to build a tunnel boring machine and just start digging.’
But when he unveiled the first tunnel in Los Angeles in December 2018 and the Las Vegas Loop in June, many were immediately disappointed by the lack of features Musk originally promised.
Musk’s underground transportation system located beneath the Las Vegas Convention Center campus was supposed to serve as a quick way to move convention attendees throughout the 200-acre campus, 40 feet beneath the ground in all-electric, self-driving Tesla vehicles.
The $52.5 million loop includes two one-way vehicle tunnels running 40ft beneath the ground and three passenger stations
Costing $52.5 million, the Boring Construction Company has built two one-way, 0.8-mile tunnels and three passenger stations which connects the existing convention center campus to the 1.4 million square foot West Hall expansion.
Instead of the futuristic self-driving cars zipping people from place to place, as was planned originally, it’s regular Tesla vehicles driven by humans trundling through a tunnel at no more than 30mph – although the lighting is colorful and flashy.
Clark County does not currently permit the use of autopilot features anywhere within the Loop system, TechCrunch reported, and vehicles are checked on a daily basis to ensure such features are disabled.
The ‘Ride Script’ includes instructions for how drivers should respond when asked about Tesla’s autopilot features and how they operate in the Loop. However, the scripted response was redacted from the documents provided to TechCrunch and deemed ‘Public Safety Related Confidential.’
When TechCrunch asked officials to explain this decision, the outlet didn’t receive a response.
Despite not using Tesla’s acclaimed self-driving features in the Loop, there are other advanced technological features the Boring Company uses to its advantage.
Each of the 62 Teslas in the Loop has a RFID chip, commonly used in contactless payment systems, which pinpoints its location at a number of points along the tunnels.
Vehicles also stream data to 24 hotspots through the system and share its speed, state of charge, the number of passengers in the car and whether they are wearing seatbelts. Each car also constantly streams real-time video from a camera inside the passenger cabin. The data is sent to an Operations Control Center a few blocks away from the Las Vegas Convention Center.
A test period the months prior to the Loop’s opening revealed that a number of drivers were ignoring their strict rules. Some drivers reportedly drove above their mandated speed limit of 30mph and others didn’t ask passengers to wear seatbelts.
The Boring Company is expanding the Loop to include stations at nearby hotels and ultimately plans to build a transit system covering most of the strip and downtown Las Vegas with over 40 stations.
Elon Musk’s Boring Company gained approval to bring its flashy and colorful underground tunnels to Fort Lauderdale, announced Mayor Dean Trantalis in a tweet on July 6
Meanwhile, Musk may bring the tunnel system to Florida. Earlier this month, The Boring Company won a $72million contract to build an underground tunnel through Fort Lauderdale.
The tunnel, called the Las Ollas Loop, will allow commuters to avoid traffic by travelling underneath the city from downtown to State Road A1A, which runs along its coastline and is usually bustling with traffic. It is expected to cost between $60 to $72million.
Fort Lauderdale’s Mayor Dean Trantalis announced the plans on July 2 and hailed them as ‘the future of Fort Lauderdale’ and ‘the future of transportation.’
But not everyone was excited by the plan. For example, Randy King, a longtime resident of Las Olas Isles, called the idea ‘beyond stupid’ in an email to city government obtained by the Sun-Sentinel.
‘Hopefully we don’t waste more money on “studying” something that doesn’t work,’ he wrote. ‘In spite of the fact it doesn’t really affect traffic, do we really want to open up caverns under the ground in light of what happened in Surfside? Do you want to lose power in that 3 mile tunnel? Please stop the insanity at the local government level.’
Trentalis, however, insists that the tunnels could withstand the hurricanes and floods that regularly afflict South Florida. ‘We have two tunnels in South Florida. One is in Fort Lauderdale and one is in Miami,’ he said.
In addition to Fort Lauderdale, the Boring Company has also proposed a $30 million loop system in Miami, reported The Verge. Previous projects, such as a proposed Chicago loop system and 35-mile Washington, DC-to-Baltimore tunnel appear to be canceled. The DC-to-Baltimore project has disappeared from the company’s website altogether.
Musk has also advocated for a futuristic underground tunnel system for trains, called the Hyperloop, which would allow passenger capsules on Tesla-built chassis to move through low-pressure tubes at high speeds.
He aspires eventually to build such a system linking Washington and New York along the busy US Northeast corridor; he has also proposed projects for Chicago and Los Angeles.