• Oct 15, 2009
Speed bumps are the bane of many an urban driver all around the world. We understand that the little protrusions were first installed to promote safety by getting drivers to slow down in congested areas, but we can't be the only ones that think the dang things have been getting out of hand as of late. Such is apparently the case in Toluca, Mexico, where a company called Decano Industries is working on a new smart speed bump that may both increase safety and decrease fuel consumption. Wait... smart speed bump?
Apparently, Decano's innovative devices measure the force of impact from an oncoming vehicle and immediately collapse if the car is traveling the speed limit or below. If a car is moving too fast, the speed bump stays in place, causing the familiar jarring impact we've all come to know and loathe. The government of Mexico City sees enough promise in the technology that its providing grant money to the company and helping get the system patented.

There's more on the line than just controlling speed. A 2006 study by Mexico City Autonomous University found that the constant acceleration and deceleration caused by speed bumps actually causes more pollutants and increases fuel consumption. A slow and steady speed would be much more environmentally friendly. In this instance, it would seem that dumber drivers equals smarter speed bumps. Who knew?

[Source: USA Today | Image: Flickr/boulanger.iE via C.C. 2.0]


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  • 23 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Somehow I think were safe in Boston, no way that'll survive one winter
      • 5 Years Ago
      That sign clearly says farts and that speed bump looks more like someones ass. Just saying...
        • 5 Years Ago
        It might say "farts", but it's not in English. We that live there/here don't really care much what you *think* it means, it's not even that funny in English.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Speedbumps don't help you escape from getting captured by Mexican kidnappers.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm from Mexico, and I think speed bumps are worse than satan. Specially when they're 1 foot wide and 3 feet tall. Srsly, no idea who came up with that stuff.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Ok... this is a joke right? "FARTS"? speed bumps that look like, um, "speed bumps"?

      I mean, it seems like a good idea, but i jsut giggled liek a little school boy when i saw the picture... I need more coffee.
        • 5 Years Ago
        When I use babelfish to translate "farts dempere", it came up with "farts dempere." Ohhh, I see.
        • 5 Years Ago
        It's norwegian and means speedbumps. That particular sign is actually supposed to indicate uneven road.

        The new official sign warning for a speed bump is actually called "Fartshump", which is of course even better (but means speedbump -- singular) See http://www.vegvesen.no/Trafikkinformasjon/Lover+og+regler/Trafikkskilt/Fareskilt and scroll down to sign 109.
        • 5 Years Ago
        It means "hold on to your farts, rough road ahead".


        Okay, I made that up.
      • 5 Years Ago
      If they measure the force of the impact, wouldn't vehicle weight be a factor? A heavy car at 20 mph might impact the speed bump with the same force as a light car at 30 mph, so would that mean light cars can go over the speed bumps faster than heavy cars?
      • 5 Years Ago
      hehe...its says farts
        • 5 Years Ago
        Someone should draw a little brown cloud coming out from betwixt those two mounds... ;-)
      • 5 Years Ago
      farts dempere is norwegian or danish, not sure which one since im from Sweden :)
      great invention. but probably too expensive for most towns to afford.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Are high-tech speedbumps really the best use of Mexican taxpayer dollars?
        • 5 Years Ago
        It could stop a mobile meth lab
      • 5 Years Ago
      Yet another reason trucks are awesome.

      A bump that will give a half ton pause will outright disembowel a low sedan.
      • 5 Years Ago
      what a waste of $$, how much more is a 'smart' speed bump going to cost than a regular one? 10x ? 100x ?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Not to mention, will it really create a net energy savings? It might reduce cars from coming to a near stop to cross speed bumps, but the way most people drive, it will probably be doing a lot of up & down all day long as car pass. Not to mention manufacturing, installation and maintenance costs/labor/energy, routine checks by the transit department, power to operate, etc.

        I think that a *lot* more energy could be saved by first tackling the problem of traffic lights. It seems to me that the technology exists and is cheap enough to make them much more intelligent. How much gas have you wasted idling at a traffic light when no cars (or at least fewer cars than are lining up behind you) are driving on the cross street? Stop/start technology can help, but if stopping in the first place can be avoided, we'd save millions of barrels of oil annually, I'm sure.
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