Photo Caption: "Swedish for speed bump"
Credit to Goodnight London
The Old Speed Bumps
We hate them. Okay, well hate is a pretty strong word, but not strong enough for some of us. Perhaps despise, or even loathe is more appropriate to express some of our true feelings. But that is exactly the purpose of a speed bump. To create a rather annoying situation which is only made better by driving at reasonable speeds.
Smart Speed Bump
This is the same theory behind the Smart Speed Bump, except it has an even more technologically improved reward and punishment system. We all remember the concept of reward and punishment from psychology class don't we kiddies...The reward/punishment system of the smart bump works as simply as, if you drive the speed limit, you are rewarded by not having to deal with any annoying bumps. If you go over the posted speed limit, you will be punished by flying over the bump, then bonking your head on the roof of your vehicle, which hopefully will knock some sense into you to slow down!
How the Smart Bump Works
How the new bumps work, is there is an internal damper that is placed within each bump that is set to detect the force of a tire as it hits the edge of the bump. The higher the speeds, the more force the damper will be able to detect. If the force is low, then it will trigger the bump to flatten out, offering a smooth transition to the driver as they cross over. If the damper is jarred and detects the vehicle is traveling beyond the speed limit, then the bump will remain fully extended.
How Does it Boost Economy and Reduce Emissions
The simple and plain truth of economy driving is that moderate and consistent speeds reduce fuel consumption and tailpipe emissions. This equation however does not fit into the way many folks handle a speed bump which often involves speeding up to it, braking hard as they go over it, then speed up once again until they reach the next bump and do the same process over and over again. Obviously the old speed bump punishment system had a few holes in its execution.
Since the Smart Speed Bump works on a punishment/reward system, the designers, Jae-yun Kim and Jong-Su Lee, hope that by offering a method to escape the bumps all together by driving at a moderate speed, more folks will just slow down and enjoy the bliss of non-stop cruising. By reducing speeds and the amount of stop and go transitions, these new bumps will provide improved safety, increased comfort, and a respectable amount of carbon reduction initiative!
When Should We start to See These
Don't expect to see these anytime soon. With the way the economy is right now, most street construction budgets will be more into dumping a fresh pile of asphalt on the street, then shelling out big bucks for a technological marvel such as this. But if these bumps work as well as they are said to, people will begin to demand them and they should be slowly adopted into our road systems.
We can only keep our fingers crossed!
Yanko Design Speed Bumps That Flatten for Slow Speeds http://www.yankodesign.com/2008/12/11/speed-bumps-that-flatten-for-slow-speeds/