Smart Speed Bumps Punish You for Speeding

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Speed bumps can be hard on old cars (and on sleeping passengers). The bumps are especially popular in Mexico, where rampant police corruption means that many speeders get off scot-free. At the same time, speed bumps have the annoying habit of upping fuel consumption due to the rapid sequence of braking and acceleration—a big problem in a country where car ownership has doubled in the past decade. So it makes sense that a Mexican company has taken the initiative to invent a "smart" speed bump that lowers gas consumption and increases safety.

Decano Industries' smart speed bump is so intuitive, it's difficult to figure out why no one invented it before. The bump, which is made up of two steel plates, uses a patented device to measure the force of a car's impact. If the car is safely cruising at or below the speed limit, the plates collapse. But if a driver is speeding by, the plates stay raised.

At $1,500 per lane with a $50 annual maintenance fee, the bumps won't break the bank. Still, the bumps, which were developed with developing countries in mind, could easily get stolen. And with over 18,000 speed bumps lurking in central Mexico City alone, the smart bumps are unlikely to make a big splash unless the Mexican government gets a sudden infusion of cash. But there's no reason why the prototype speed bump couldn't be just as useful in more developed countries. After all, the whole world is dealing with the prospect of fuel shortages—not just Mexico.

[Via USA Today]

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2 Comments

  • Loudan Ramirez

    Hello I live in mexico.
    .

    "The bumps are especially popular in Mexico, where rampant police corruption means that many speeders get off scot-free."....Excuse me but this is not the reason. So this means that my mexican goverment puts on speed bumps to piss me off when no cops are around. This is just nonsense.

    Speed bumps in my city are put by either neighbor request or necessity. Speed bumps are used to save lives. They put them in strategic locations where a person might walk or where a speeding car might not be able to see someone crossing the corner.

    Since I live in the border I can say that in the US I don't see many speed bumps because their freeway and avenue infrastructure doesn't allow people to walk great distances. In mexico most cities are not planned and using speed bumps is a way to offset the safety of pedestrians in a ever growing infrastructure.

    If anybody has been to monterrey or mexicali- for example, they will be able to appreciate it is a very well planned city. But I doubt they planned mexicos citys infrastrucre 200 years ago for the ever growing population.

    So my question is, how many countrys put speed bumps to get back at drivers when the cops arent looking.

  • Nunzio Martin

    Just get rid of speed limits like in Germany in less congested areas and the problem is gone. Cool idea but unrealistic.