Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Deceptive Brake Lights

Brake Lights move apart to change apparent velocity at night
  (+7, -4)
(+7, -4)
  [vote for,

You are a criminal driving at night. A cop pulls up behind you. You accelerate slightly, getting beyond his headlights. Then you floor it. Your taillights move apart, creating the illusion that you are still traveling at the same speed. By the time they reach the end of their tracks (can be extended on polls several feet to the left and right of the car) you are long gone.

Can also move together to create the illusion of deceleration.

tolly2, Feb 05 2002


       We don't need more ideas to help criminals.
dana_renay, Feb 05 2002

       Ah, loosen up. If we can get the mastermind criminals of the world to draw on the halfbakery for inspiration, I think the ensuing self-inflicted mayhem would be a far cheaper solution to the problam than having someone else track them down from the outside. But even without the criminal context, this would make for a cute gizmo for Mr. Bond.   

       From what I've read, there is some brake light manipulation already happening - cops that tail cars can unlink their brake lights to not reveal that they're braking. But this is far more sophisticated. (And less useful, really, but let's ignore that.)   

       (Of course, the lights would also have to vary in brightness and height, and shift hue ever so slightly...)
jutta, Feb 05 2002

       "shift hue ever so slightly..."   

       Hehe. Yes, ever so so so slightly.
bristolz, Feb 05 2002

       Why would a police car want to unlink their brake lights? The person in front wouldn't see.   

       Deceptive brake lights could work quite well, especially coupled with hydraulic suspension so that the car tips realistically. You'd have to lure them in close to get any real effect, though. One criminal croissant and a pair of handcuffs.   

       [later: of course you could fling both lights off in the same direction while turning sharply the other way. That might work too.]
st3f, Feb 05 2002

       brightness, height and hue? are our eyes really that sensitive to notice a change like that?
po, Feb 05 2002

       Mine aren't [po], but your mileage may vary.
bristolz, Feb 05 2002

       I like this idea. Two thumbs up.
thumbwax, Feb 05 2002

       What if you carry your brake lights on a closely attached small trailer with three wheels and a remote control:you when driving, the trailer would be streamlined into the back of your car, and when tailed, you would hit the button, and the trailer would detach and coast off down a side road and your car, with brake lights off, would drive down the other way. with the remote control, you could even lead the cops on a merry chase for several minutes while you drive down the other way, or just sat down and laughed. Sorry, it's late and i'm tired.
Mentalelemental, Mar 27 2003


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