Another Company Unveiled a Hyperloop Passenger Pod

Oct 3, 2018

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While Elon Musk deals with an investigation by the Securities and Exchanges Commission, his vision of Hyperloop is coming closer and closer to fruition.

On Tuesday, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (unaffiliated with Musk) unveiled the world’s first full-scale passenger hyperloop pod.

The capsule, which HTT hopes will hit speeds of 620 mph moving through vacuum-sealed tubes, was shown off in Puerto de Santa Maria, Spain, near its construction site. Named Quintero One, the vehicle measures 105 feet long and weighs five tons. Once the pod’s interior is completed, it should seat 28 to 40 passengers.

Image courtesy of Hyperloop Transportation Technologies.

A video shows off how it was constructed:

Hyperloop Transportation Technologies developed a new material called Vibranium, a name that references a fictional metal that often appeared in Marvel comics, which the company calls the “safest material on Earth” and “intelligent” since it senses integrity and monitors impact — Vibranium coats the skin of the capsule and is essentially sensor-embedded carbon fiber. According to CNBC, HTT claims the material is “eight times stronger than steel and 10 times stronger than aluminum alternatives.”

Richard Branson-backed Virgin Hyperloop One is HTT’s most serious competitor — it’s been testing its pod in the Nevada desert and has developed a prototype passenger pod which it displayed in Dubai.

Not quite yet ready for passengers, HTT’s pod will be moved to Toulouse, France, where it will receive more additions and undergo tests at an HTT facility there. Unlike Virgin’s pod, HTT’s has not been tested in an active environment.

“In 2019, this capsule will be fully optimized and ready for passengers,” said Bibop Gresta, chairman and co-founder of HTT. Gresta, a colorful figure whose birth name is Gabriele Gresta, added that a full scale commercial hyperloop system should be operating within three years — an ambitious statement for a company that has yet to trial its new pod even once.
In July, HTT and China signed an agreement to build China’s first Hyperloop system. The company has also signed other exploratory agreements with countries like South Korea, India, Ukraine and the United Arab Emirates.
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