Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Electro-magnetic bumpers

Anti-collision device
(+1, -1)
  [vote for,

Imagine if all cars had electromagnetic bumpers. Both front and rear would have the same charge. As the speed of the car increases the charge on the magnet is automatically increased. So if one car is about to collide in to the back of another the repulsion between the bumpers would drastically reduce the collision speed. Parking would not be a problem since it is (usually) done at low speed and the charge on the bumpers would be very low.
Problems: A lot of stray metal debris on the road may stick to the bumpers (not that I am aware of many paperclips etc lying around) - maybe a manual/automatic decharge could solve the problem that is activated every minute or so. Kinda like the degauss option on monitors.
midvale99, Jun 22 2003

When stray metal objects encounter intense magnetic fields... http://www.mercola....2001/aug/15/mri.htm
[DrCurry, Oct 04 2004]


       If you've ever played with magnets, you'll realize that impacts would lead cars to flip around and jam together. And intense magnetic fields in the vicinity of "stray metal debris" is something I'd rather you tested when I was out of the room (see link).
DrCurry, Jun 22 2003

       The term 'shopping cart magnet' comes to mind.
Cedar Park, Jun 22 2003

       Ouch...Cars passing each other going in opposite directions would cause some nasty spinouts.
I like the automatic street-cleaner idea though! No more bottle caps and paper clips lying around all over the street.
phundug, Jun 22 2003

       Where's the manhole cover?
thumbwax, Jun 23 2003

       Somehow the idea of a degaussing bumper amuses me. Especially if it'd jiggle all around and make a boiiiinnnnnng noise.   

       The bumper idea doesn't really seem to work that well, though. It'd take a *lot* of current to be able to stop the momentum of even a slowly moving vehicle. Little retro rockets might be a better idea, but I think that's been covered here.
rapid transit, Jun 24 2003

       i had this idea too, It would require a sonar system to provide a magnetic "pulse" when it sensed an object approching too quickly... Too bad magnetic fields cause brain DNA damage.
WhiteWiz, Mar 01 2004

       The idea actually is not bad, the really question is one of physics. What would the stregth of the magentic feild need to be to be even somewhat effective. Since an impact would last less than 1 second the field would only need to be in effect for an extremly short period of time.   

       Even if it drew other metals into the area I don't believe it would do any more harm that the car bodies crashing together. Usually the front and rear of the car would be a signficant distance (in magnetic terms) away from any passagers. Even though maganetic feilds perhaps might have certain harmful effect on people there are ways to minimize this thru sheilding and distance.   

       So who up to running the math on this one? benhadad_smith@hotmail.com
benhadad, May 11 2004


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