Mexico developing 'smart' speed bumps to increase safety, decrease fuel consumption

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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