Hyperloop Transportation Technologies has announced a new technology that's going to raise the hackles of Marvel's lawyers. The company, in collaboration with Slovakian materials firm c2i, has created a carbon fiber composite that'll cover the inside and outside of its capsules. The only issue is that some bright spark decided to call this wonder material Vibranium. As in the Wakandan rare earth metal that helps Captain America and Black Panther beat down their foes.
Unlike its fictional namesake, this Vibranium is embedded with a series of sensors that monitor stability, temperature and integrity. These sensors are intended to provide continuous feedback to HQ, so that if a pod gets damaged in transit, it'll be pulled from service as soon as it hits the dock. The company claims that the material is 10 times stronger than steel and weighs five times less than aluminum. The plan is that HTT's capsules will use two skins of
vibranium the material -- one on the outside, and one to protect the passenger compartment.
One of the reasons that HTT is working with a Slovakian company is because it signed a deal in March to partner with the local government. It's currently researching the potential to build two Hyperloop routes that would unite Slovakia's capital city, Bratislava, with neighboring capital cities Vienna and Budapest. Given that the distances involved are reasonably small, this three-city loop would be an ideal testbed for the technology.
This article by Daniel Cooper originally ran on Engadget, the definitive guide to this connected life.