It’s 2016, people, and that means reusable rockets that land on drone ships, cars that drive themselves, and now the possibility for one of the coolest modes of transportation ever: the Vibranium Hyperloop.
Yes, we know what you’re thinking: the Hyperloop, the dream of you-can’t-prove-he’s-not-Tony-Stark Elon Musk, may be on its way to becoming a reality, but Vibranium is still a fictional metal from a fictional African country (Wakanda) in a fictional universe (the MCU). But The Verge reports that the evidently nerdy folks in charge of the startup Hyperloop Transporation Technologies (HTT) have still — in very Musky fashion — decided to name a new type of metal that will coat their Hyperloop pods after the famously resilient natural resource.
The “real” Vibranium that will supposedly be used to coat HTT’s pods, unlike the “fake” Vibranium in Cap’s shield or the Black Panther’s microweave mesh, will not be essentially indestructible, although it will be extremely durable — about “eight times stronger than aluminum and 10 times stronger than steel alternatives,” according to the company’s estimates.
HTT’s Vibranium will also be outfitted with a suite of sensors that will keep track of variables that could affect the performance and safety of the Hyperloop pods, including temperature, stability, and material integrity. (The sensors will constantly report their readouts to an HQ that will monitor the parameters and halt the pod if necessary.)
“Safety is the most important aspect [of the Hyperloop],” said HTT CEO Dirk Ahlborn at the Pioneer’s Festival in Vienna, which is why his company’s Hyperloop pods will be coated with not one, but two layers of the durable and super sensorial metal. He added that if one layer fails, “[we] would we have another layer that guarantees that the passenger can be brought to safety.”
HTT is, by no means, guaranteed an upper hand in the race toward establishing a usable Hyperloop with its Vibranium-coated pods however. In fact, another, more traditional startup (HTT is totally volunteer-based and crowdsourced), Hyperloop One, has already performed their first open-air test of their version of the Hyperloop. They also have $100 million in funding. But who knows, maybe some kind of real-life Iron Man will decide to give HTT some help as it attempts to establish its first Hyperloop tracks in Slovakia; or is that just the plot of the next Civil War movie?
What do you think about HTT naming their new sensorial metal Vibranium? Is this a great way to combine comic-book fiction with real-life technology, or are Marvel’s lawyers about to go Hulk on a startup? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!