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Captain America inspiration behind Vienna Hyperloop

Anyone who still holds on to their childhood dream of being a superhero will be delighted by the name of the state-of-the-art technology behind a transport system planned for Vienna.

Captain America inspiration behind Vienna Hyperloop
HTT

Like something straight out of a science fiction film, the Hyperloop transport system that will connect Vienna and Bratislava is designed to shoot passenger pods down a tube at 760mph.

The system created by Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT) hopes to cut travel time between the two cities down to just eight minutes.

Now it’s creator has revealed that of the high-tech material that will help transport passengers through a semi-vacuum tube at top speeds is called “Vibranium”.

Fans of Marvel Comic’s Captain America will no doubt recognise the name, which was first used to describe the nearly indestructible metal the superhero’s shield is made from.

Unveiling the material at Vienna’s Pioneers Festival this week, HTT CEO Dirk Ahlborn – a self-confessed comic book fan – admitted the name was inspired by Marvel’s fictional Vibranium.

It may not actually have any superhero powers, but the real-life Vibranium is still “eight times stronger than aluminium and 10 times stronger than steel alternatives,” according to Ahlborn.

The material – created in collaboration with a Slovakian company – is designed to provide a coating for the Hyperloop passenger pods, ensuring they stay protected even if the exterior gets damaged.

The idea of a hyperloop transport system was originally thought up by Elon Musk, an entrepreneur who heads up Tesla Motors and SpaceX.

Musk deliberately left the idea open for others to develop and several companies are working on turning the concept into a reality.

This deal between Hyperloop Transportation Technologies and Slovakia is the first time a project using this technology has been proposed outside the US, where a few companies are already exploring the idea.

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TRANSPORT

Vienna to reward car-free travel with concert and museum tickets

If you take public transport, cycle or walk in Vienna, you stand to gain more than fresh air and exercise, with the city unveiling an app on Monday to reward car-free travel with free concert and museum tickets.

Vienna to reward car-free travel with concert and museum tickets
Pxhere

A total of 1,000 users will start a test of the smartphone app from February 26. If the six-month test is successful, the app is expected to be rolled out to the broader public in the autumn.

The app works through a tracking system that recognises the mode of transport used and calculates the CO2 savings in comparison to taking a car.

“We want to reward CO2 reduction with a cultural experience,” Vienna city council member Peter Hanke told a press conference at the presentation of the new app, which allows users to collect “culture tokens” whenever they commute without cars.

Users get one token as soon as they have saved 20 kilogrammes of CO2, which would be reached if a average resident within the city limits commuted without a car for two weeks, according to project leader Christina Hubin.

The tokens can be exchanged for free tickets at four participating cultural institutions. The Vienna Museum of the city's history, an art exhibition space, a theatre and a classical concert venue are taking part.

In the initial test phase the participating institutions will not becompensated. Vienna, with its 1.8 million inhabitants, is known for its efficient public transport.

Annual travel cards for public transport cost just one euro per day and now outnumber cars in the city.

Under a newly formed coalition government between the conservative People's Party (OeVP) and the Greens, Austria aims to be climate neutral by 2040, a decade ahead of the EU's target.