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Tag: cars

After this bad driver rudely cut you off in traffic, YOU’LL NEVER BELIEVE what happened next with a laser that caused them to repent their wicked ways.

The issue:

Sometimes, drivers are terrible (Figure 1).

But there unfortunately does not exist any practical and useful way to accomplish the following:

  1. Let these drivers know that they have committed a traffic infraction
  2. Warn other drivers to watch out for these terrible drivers.

Fig. 1: The blue car in this example is randomly weaving in and out of traffic, and is generally being a terrible driver.


This plan has two parts, shown in Figure 2:

1) Every car must be painted with a special photo-reactive paint, which will (temporarily) change color when exposed to a specific frequency of light.

2) Every car ALSO must have a laser gun mounted on it somewhere (for example, on the roof or on the hood).

Then, whenever you see a bad driver, you simply point the laser at their car, and it fires a beam that changes the target car’s paint color (Figure 3), letting other drivers know that that car displeased you in some way.


Fig. 2: When a bad driver annoys you, you can just pull out your car laser and “paint” their car with bad-driving photon energy.



Fig. 3: After being hit by the bad-driving lasers, the blue car’s paint is now a bright orange, lettering future drivers know to steer clear of this car, and letting the driver (or perhaps their parents, for student drivers) know that they committed some sort of traffic infraction.


This would remove the need for the DMV, traffic enforcement, and traffic signs, thus saving countless dollars every year.

PROS: Saves a ton of money, works well for everyone.

CONS: The laser might cause blindness, which could be remedied by modifying every car to have special window glass that absorbed that laser’s frequency. Additionally, pedestrians could wear sunglasses, so really there is no downside.

Don’t get too excited, but it’s YET ANOTHER idea about stop signs! Maybe this blog should be renamed “Worst Traffic Signage Proposals.”



When a driver comes to a stop sign, they don’t intuitively know whether it is a two-way or an all-way stop. The difference is important, because a lot more diligence is required at an intersection where cross traffic does not stop.

The issue:

See Figure 1: if you add a bunch of trees, parked cars, buildings, and other visual obstructions, it can be very difficult to determine whether the other cross streets have stop signs or not.


Fig. 1: In this bleak gray-and-white plain, it’s easy to tell that the cross traffic does not stop, but in reality there will be a number of trees / cars / buildings that obstruct the driver’s view.


Lanes of traffic that specifically do NOT stop could be marked with lines on the ground (see Figure 2), similar to a crosswalk.


Fig. 2: This green arrow (which extends through the intersection, as seen above) is a visual indicator to inform drivers that cross traffic does not stop.

The only downside to this would be that people might start to assume that the lack of lines would mean “cross traffic DOES stop.” In that case, an alternative formulation could be made where the lanes that do stop are specifically marked ini an obvious fashion (see Figure 3). (Although existing intersections do occasionally have a white line and the word “STOP” painted on them, this marking is very inconsistent and is not at all visually obvious).


Fig. 3: A) In order to prevent drivers from relying too much on “lack of any marking = cross traffic DOES stop,” we could invert the scenario and explicitly mark the lanes of traffic that WILL stop (orange dots here). B) The blue arrow is another possible example of a more aggressively obvious pattern to indicate lack of traffic stopping.


You should buy some stock in companies that sell road-suitable paint, and then propose this idea as an amendment to your state’s constitution (assuming that is a possibility).

PROS: May reduce accidents at two-way-stops-misinterpreted-as-four-way-stops, which might be a major cause of residential car crashes (probably someone knows this, but not me).

CONS: Doesn’t work very well when there is snow on the roadway. Additionally, paint requires substantial maintenance to keep visible; roads might need to be repainted a lot more often, for unclear benefit.

Never pay for a parking spot downtown again with this one unbelievable tip from a disgruntled crane operator!

The issue: Lack of Parking Availability

In many areas of high-density housing, parking spots can be an incredibly valuable commodity.

This is especially true of areas with heavy snowfall, since the snow temporarily reduces the amount of parking spots available.

Unfortunately, there is no extremely easy way to add additional parking spots without major demolition / renovation to existing buildings.


But the area above the street is still free. Thus, we can create additional parking spots by adding a number of crane-suspended platforms to the street. These new “aerial parking spots” will be easy to use:

  1. Call the crane with a remote control (like a garage door opener).
  2. Wait for the crane to lower the platform into the middle of the street (this may temporarily block traffic).
  3. Drive onto the platform.
  4. Turn off your car and get out of it. Important: step off of the platform!
  5. Push the remote control button again to hoist your car into the air.

Now your car is hanging 30 feet in the air, on a small parking-spot-sized platform, and you don’t need to find a parking spot.

Bonus feature: protects your car from opportunistic theft and casual vandalism.

Alternative option.

If the building has an interior courtyard, the cars could be lifted over the building entirely and then dropped off in the (normally vehicle-inaccessible) central courtyard. This would mean that one crane could handle multiple cars.


Fig 1: Here, the apartment on the right has a crane (or multiple cranes) which can pick up cars directly from the street.

Possible technical enhancement:

If this method of parking becomes extremely popular, cars may be built with additional “aerial parking” options. For example, a car could have a special roof rack that would be grabbed onto by a hook on the crane. This would allow the car be hoisted directly into the air without the need for a platform.


Fig 2: Having to wait for a platform to lower before you can drive onto it would eventually become a bit annoying. But this issue can be solved by building a “lift point” into the car itself. The lifting bar here (which would be like a standard roof rack, except structurally integrated into the frame of the car) would mesh directly with the overhead lifting hooks, preventing the need for any sort of lifting platform. The whole process could even be automated with basic computer vision and proximity-detection hardware.

PROS: Conveniently solves downtown / high-density apartment parking issues.

CONS: “How would this system deal with high winds?” Answer: POORLY?