Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Airbag For The Poor

Airbag For The Poor: Saving Your Life (Almost) For Free
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Think of vacuum packed coffee bags which instantly become soft when pierced. The Airbag For The Poor (AFTP) is designed according to the same principle: it consists of a dashboard filled with powder material (e.g., sawdust) to which vacuum has been applied. The outer surface of the dashboard is thinner than in existing cars; it can be made of an insulating foil such as the one used for vacuum packed coffee bags. Needles or nails for puncturing the dashboard surface are arranged in such a way as to pierce the dashboard surface, in the event of a collision without injuring the passenger's forehead.

When punctured, the dashboard becomes instantly soft. Admittedly, it's not a real expanding airbag, but it is still better to hit a soft cushion-like surface than the hard plastic of a dashboard. And if you compare the price of a few coffee bags and a couple of nails with that of modern airbags with all their powder charges and electronic components, you will quickly see the difference.

The AFTP can also be arranged in the steering wheel of the vehicle. The sawdust inside AFTP can be scented with fragrances to alleviate the post-collision trauma of the vehicle's occupants.

On some Luxury For The Poor Vehicles (LFTPV), the AFTP can be combined with the GPS For The Poor (GFTP) devices (See Car, Navigation)

gagarin, Nov 30 2005

GPS For The Poor GPS_20For_20The_20Poor
GPS For The Poor [gagarin, Nov 30 2005]

More airbags for the poor Audio_20Airbags
[normzone, Nov 30 2005]

Live Science: "New Soft Helmet Turns Hard in Crash" http://www.livescie.../051204_ribcap.html
"A shear thickening material, it is flexible when moved slowly, but when it is compresssed by an impact, its molecules lock together." [bristolz, Dec 06 2005]

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       Poor people can afford cars?!
DrCurry, Nov 30 2005
  

       have you ever heard about the New Poor?
gagarin, Nov 30 2005
  

       does "Saving Your Life (Almost) For Free" mean "Saving Your Life For Almost Free" or "Almost Saving Your Life For Free"?
hidden truths, Nov 30 2005
  

       does "Saving Your Life (Almost) For Free" mean "Saving Your Life For Almost Free" or "Almost Saving Your Life For Free"?
hidden truths, Nov 30 2005
  

       I think, save for the title and setting--the whole "poor" thing--that the notion of rigid surfaces that become soft when punctured is clever.
bristolz, Nov 30 2005
  

       Yes, but they become hard again when hit at speed.
st3f, Nov 30 2005
  

       By "poor" you mean "house rich"? [gagarin]
Maybe "Impact Protection for the People".  VolksKerschmusser?
reensure, Nov 30 2005
  

       //have you ever heard about the New Poor?//   

       Ah yes, the rising class of Nouveau Pauvre. No class, those people. Buying their clothing in second-hand stores instead of just finding them on the streets.. Tsk.
Trickytracks, Nov 30 2005
  

       //VolksKerschmusser// Ha!, good one. (It's not really a word yet, is it?)
Zimmy, Nov 30 2005
  

       Huh uh. "VolksAirbag" just didn't work for me.
reensure, Nov 30 2005
  

       Maybe there's a big nail which has the head set in the front bumper, and the pointy bit poised under the sawdust bag. In the event of a big collision the nail drives right through the bag and...er, perhaps not.
The vehicle would need to be driven quite slowly, to give enough time for the air to fill the bag through a nail hole. Better would be a peel away strip, which exposes a huge cross section for the air to get in. It could have a label: "In the event of a head on collision, please peel back this label".
Ling, Dec 01 2005
  

       handbags for the poor? seems pointless.
benfrost, Dec 01 2005
  

       [benfrost] Unless they were filled with vacuum packed sawdust so they could have safe bitch-fights.
stestagg, Dec 01 2005
  

       thats a great idea - i'll vacuum pack a poor person with sawdust immediately.
benfrost, Dec 02 2005
  

       To get the desired softening effect, you'd need to push air in very quickly. The vacuum would only give you a 15 PSI pressure difference, max, so you'd probably need a gas cartridge to discharge air into the powdery dashboard bag. So, in effect, you'd be back to a standard "rich man's" airbag + some extra hardware & complexities.
sophocles, Dec 06 2005
  

       The vacuum-packed coffee effect has since been applied to make jamming grippers for robotics, a few years ago now.
notexactly, Feb 10 2016
  

       If there's anything I want in my dashboard in case of collision, it's nails.
Voice, Feb 10 2016
  


 

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