Sometimes, when driving through a residential neighborhood road, you may encounter annoying speed bumps, speed humps, or speed lumps (Figure 1).
These speed bumps / lumps discourage you from taking the shortcut (Figure 2). But you’re important, and have places to be!
If only there were some way you could take these speed bumps at full speed, without slowing down at all.
A car could be enhanced with:
- An extra set of axles (so six wheels total, instead of four).
- A set of laser rangefinders that would detect speed bumps (and other irregularities in the road surface)
- A powered suspension that could lift the wheels a substantial distance up into the car (perhaps a foot or more).
Then, when the car detects upcoming speed bumps, it could preemptively move the wheels up just before the speed bump is hit (and then back down after the speed bump has passed (Figure 3).
PROS: Ends the tyranny of the speed lump.
CONS: You might forget about this feature when driving another car and hit a speed bump at 45 miles per hour, which would probably not be great.
P.S. Apparently a variant of this was a developed as a proof-of-concept by Bose (the audio company!) in 1986: Youtube link (2 minutes), article link.
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