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Flying-Leap Crash Avoidance

(for your next car, [po])
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This car has 4 emergency 1-shot pogo sticks built into its structure, near the wheels (since in general car wheels are located specifically to balance the load). At the bottom of each stick is a spherical roller, much like the ball-point at the end of the average pen. It does not normally touch the ground when the car is in normal motion.

The top portion of each pogo stick contains a permanently sealed and compressed fuel-air mix. When ignited by a spark plug, it powerfully propels the shaft downward, breaking the seal that had held the piston in the maximum-compression position. There is nothing to prevent the piston from completely leaving the cylinder of this pogo stick, after firing -- which is why it is a 1-shot device.

The car has a number of sensors built into it, and an Artificial Intelligence specially trained to recognize serious collision situations. If it computes that there is nothing the driver of the car can do to avoid a collision (it might be the fault of the driver of an oncoming truck), it simultaneously activates the 4 pogo sticks.

The car now takes an emergency flying leap, avoiding getting hit. The CAR might do some hitting when it comes down again, but here the cushiony car-seats significantly help the passengers, and of course the A.I. could inflate all airbags during the flying leap, as additional protection. A parachute might be deployed, too (perhaps using small rockets for max deployment speed).

If the Flying-Leap Crash Avoidance system successfully protects the car, then new pogo sticks can be installed, an so on. There shouldn't be any need to replace the whole car.

Vernon, Apr 30 2014

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       Well, it depends. The car might leap entirely over the person. Or, the A.I. might decide that the person is NOT a damage-threat to the CAR...this Idea WAS mostly about protecting the CAR from damage, see?   

       However, in general, we might expect that if the car is threatening to hit something, the sensors could detect that threat far-enough in advance that the A.I. could successfully brake and/or swerve the car to miss. But the A.I. has no control over other cars, and that is why this Flying Leap Crash Avoidance system should exist (at least here at the HalfBakery, heh!).
Vernon, Apr 30 2014
  

       I like the device concept.   

       Unfortunately at this writing the AI monitor/trigger you describe is just so much hand-waving magic.   

       I wonder how the insurance companies would find a way to embrace this.   

       " I'm sorry, but you failed to update your AI to the latest revision, and that voids any insurance coverage you were entitled to. "
normzone, Apr 30 2014
  

       " I'm sorry, but you failed to update your AI to the latest revision - activating rear pogos only."
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 30 2014
  

       Why do I get the feeling that the car would leap about 6 inches above a rolling cloud of soot and fire, leaving behind 4 pogos embedded a foot deep in the asphalt?
the porpoise, Apr 30 2014
  

       [porpoise] because that's what would happen except the "embedded a foot deep" part... cars are heavy.   

       Anyway the jump would be as harmful as the accident unless you make it rocket motors and add the parachute. In which case there's still the problem of where to land.   

       excessive use of pyrotechnics [+]
Voice, Apr 30 2014
  

       Are the occupants of the car eligible for a Martin-Baker tie?
the porpoise, Apr 30 2014
  

       Hey folks, please notice I never said anything about the diameters of these pogo sticks. If large enough, the Flying Leap can become pretty significant.
Vernon, Apr 30 2014
  

       I think for collisions with anything smaller than the car, it would be cheaper to deploy the razor sharp roo bar, and to attempt to flick the upper slice over the windscreen.   

       For collisions with big things (from cows, up?) the pogo stick is at least a comforting thought to die thinking? This idea has some similarity with the one that intruded into my own procrastinations today, and so I can offer an adaptation. Make the "cabin" separable from the body, and eject that. At least this offers the dignity of a more spectacular death to the occupants.
skoomphemph, May 01 2014
  
      
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