h a l f b a k e r y
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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
located specifically to balance the load). At the bottom
each stick is a spherical roller, much like the ball-point
the end of the average pen. It does not normally
ground when the car is in normal motion.
The top portion of each pogo stick contains a
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 --
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
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
down again, but here the cushiony car-seats significantly
help the passengers, and of course the A.I. could inflate
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
||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
||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!).
||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. "
||" I'm sorry, but you failed to update your AI to the
latest revision - activating rear pogos only."
||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?
||[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 [+]
||Are the occupants of the car eligible for a Martin-Baker tie?
||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.
||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.