The Slovakian makers of the 700mph Hyperloop have invented their own super-safe material which is 10 times stronger than steel

 
Emma Haslett
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Musk reckons the technology can be ready by 2020 (Source: Hyperloop)

Remember Hyperloop, the 700mph mass transportation system invented by Tesla founder Elon Musk?

The technology - which is still at prototype stage - has been seized on by a company in Slovakia, which today announced that it has come up with a new, super-safe material to ensure passenger safety.

"Vibranium" may sound suspiciously close to Avatar's Unobtainium, but Jumpstartfund said the new smart material, which Hyperloop's pods will be made of, is serious stuff.

At eight times stronger than aluminium and 10 times stronger than steel, it will transmit information about the pods' temperature, stability, integrity "and more".

The system, which uses levitating pods to transport people at hundreds of miles and hour, will cut the time it takes to travel from New York City to Washington to just 30 minutes, and the travel time between Bratislava and Vienna to less than 10 minutes its creators have claimed.

The capsules will be made of a sandwich of Vibranium, which means that if the outer skin is damaged, the inner one should be ok.

"The material communicates issues immediately and the Hyperloop capsule would be taken out of circulation for maintenance," said Jumpstartfund today.

“Safety is one of the most important aspects of our system” Dirk Ahlborn, its chief executive, added.

“We are 10 times safer than an airplane. Our collaboration with Slovakia and their technical skills in new materials, automotive and production processes have made this technology possible.”

Musk unveiled his concept in August 2013, saying each capsule would carry 28 people and travel at close to the speed of sound on skis suspended on a cushion of air.

The $6bn scheme could even be scaled up to carry cars, and power itself using solar panel.

The company has already begun work on a 1km track on a 50 acre plot in Nevada. Musk and co reckon the technology will be ready by 2020.

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