Hyperloop Transportation Technologies has revealed it will be building parts of its futuristic transit system out of a super strong yet lightweight material called Vibranium. Yes, comic book nerds, Vibranium — the fictional alien element that makes up Captain America's shield.
The Hyperloop company's CEO, Dirk Ahlborn, discussed the advancement at the Pioneers Festival in Vienna, according to CNET. Though the company has not explicitly stated the new material was named after the Marvel Comic substance of the same name, we think there are some fan boys over at HTT.
What's a Hyperloop? Hyperloop Transportation Technologies is one of two companies currently building a transportation system of tubes and pods that has the potential to jettison cargo, and one day people, between destinations at over 700 miles per hour. The company has offices in Los Angeles and is currently building a five mile test track in California's Quay Valley.
So far, the company has revealed a passive magnetic levitation system developed in collaboration with Lawrence Livermore Laboratories and signed an agreement with the Slovakian government to build a system connecting Bratislava, Slovakia, with Vienna, Austria, and Budapest, Hungary.
What's Virbanium? Vibranium is HTT's latest development. The material is carbon fiber that's packed with sensors and is ten times stronger than most steel replacements, reports CNET.
The company says it will use Vibranium to build the pods for its tubular system. The material serves two main purposes: One, to capture and communicate operational information. And two, to reduce resistance so the pods can travel quickly. The sensors in the Vibranium will detect pod temperature and structural data — like if the pod has been damaged in any way while in transit.
The key interest in designing this material is as a safety provision. "Safety is one of the most important aspects of our system," Ahlborn reportedly stated.
Competitors: Hyperloop Transportation Technologies is not to be confused with the recently renamed company, Hyperloop One. Earlier this month, Hyperloop One demonstrated a propulsion system for its Hyperloop system in a desert outside Las Vegas, Nevada.
HTT has yet to unveil its test track or a propulsion system, but the company has said before that it plans to start accommodating passengers on its Quay Valley track by 2018.