Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Sun tsu brake

Brake without losing momentum
  (+9, -6)
(+9, -6)
  [vote for,

Sun Tsu said:

Therefore, a wise general will strive to feed off the enemy. One bushel of the enemy's provisions is worth twenty of our own, one picul of fodder is worth twenty of our own.

The problem with brakes is that the driver makes a frontal assault on his vehicle's inertia, destroying it by converting it to heat via the brake pad. Why not use that energy to accomplish your end? Since the real point of an emergency brake is to avoid an obstacle I propose a solution similar to the dragged spikes etc which have been offered in this category, but less hard on the car, road, and driver.

Fire a harpoon into the ground just to the left of the car, attached by a chain to the frame. The car will swing in a tight U around the harpoon When pointing 180 degrees the opposite way, the chain releases. You continue driving along, but now in the opposite lane, away from the obstacle at a substantial fraction of your initial velocity. You have used your enemies' resources to further your end.

Batman had a similar device for going around sharp corners - a grappel which hung onto lamp posts. It was in Batman II I think - but I cant find a link. This strategy I think would be dangerous for passers by and overly reliant on well built lampposts.

This device would be problematic in countries where people routinely drive on the left - deployment of the sun-tsu brake would result in the car hopping the curb, entering buildings etc. Hopefully news reports detailing the benefits of the Sun-Tsu would cause political pressures to switch over and drive on the right.

bungston, Oct 16 2002

Inspirational reading. http://www.sonshi.com/sun2.html
[bungston, Oct 16 2002, last modified Oct 06 2004]

regenerative brakes http://www.everythi...124&node_id=1326760
same ends, through a less wacky means. [gastronaut]

Truck Harpoon http://www.halfbake...dea/Truck_20Harpoon
Similar hardware, different purpose. [gastronaut, Oct 17 2002, last modified Oct 06 2004]

Truck Harpoon http://www.halfbake...dea/Truck_20Harpoon
Similar hardware, different purpose. [st3f, Oct 17 2002, last modified Oct 05 2004]


       I'm relieved your back after the fun I had at your expense last we met. Ah, but it was just in fun. Okay? This idea is classic Bakery material. Whether or not it gets roasted I don't know that yet. You deserve a croissant for giving me a good laugh here anyway.
hollajam, Oct 16 2002

       It was in the first Batman film (and associated merchandise, computer games, etc)
yamahito, Oct 16 2002

       If it's a traffic light, you could keep going around the harpoon until it turns green.
FarmerJohn, Oct 16 2002

       Sun Tsu said:
When in doubt, get the hell out
thumbwax, Oct 17 2002

       Sun Tsu said:
Halfbake idea like turd halfway out. No hesitation. Even crap make big splash.
FarmerJohn, Oct 17 2002

       I used to think Lao Tsu was Sun Tsu's dad.
General Washington, Oct 17 2002

       [GW} You mean he wasn't ? Another precious illusion shattered ....   

       Why not harpoon a vehicle travelling in the opposite direction ? Double whammy - use their momentum to cancel out yours !
8th of 7, Oct 17 2002

       ...or harpoon a vehicle involved in the accident while simultaniously flinging the car off the road to one side, safe in the knowledge that the harpoon will drag you back.   

       "He survived the accident but died after being nailed to the dashboard by a stray whaling harpoon."   

       Croissant whichever way you play it.
st3f, Oct 17 2002

       A harpoon large enough to turn a car travelling at high velocity would have to make quite a destructive impact in the road. I fear the department of roads and transport may have something to say about this.   

       Maybe there could be a receptacle tracking built into the side of the road in order to catch hold of the standard-shaped harpoon so that the roads would be safe. This would allow for a design of harpoon that can be retracted back to the car and reused.   

       "Why did the chicken cross the road? To retrieve it's harpoon"
MrKangaroo, Oct 17 2002

       The police could use this for nailing carjackers.
egbert, Oct 17 2002

       It’s a really fine idea. Very green, energy saving. But I do have a worry about the chain release. If it doesn’t, you and your car will turned into a gigantic tether-ball, whirling around at an ever more feverish pace until the chain is completely wrapped around the post, then the sudden neck snapping reversal, the vertebrae separation, the. . .well, as I say, it’s a worry.
ldischler, Oct 17 2002

       and how did your dog meet its maker again?
po, Oct 17 2002

       So you've detected a theme, eh?
ldischler, Oct 17 2002

       it's a worry.
po, Oct 17 2002

       Nick: other cars are not your enemy, your momentum is. Probably I should have called this the Aikido brake. As regards the tetherball possibility, early tests done by me this week (eg: very rapid left turns) have resulted in the accumulation of all my car stuff on the right side of the car, but not me - the shoulder belt holds you in place very nicely.   

       I like the harpoon receptacle idea. However, to compensate for road damage caused by the harpoon, one could place in them some gold or other valuable material. This would in effect tax harpoon users, since they would need to buy a new harpoon, and city covernments could harvest used harpoons from the road and sell them to cover road repair costs.
bungston, Oct 17 2002

       Making the harpoons of gold. That is an excellent idea. It is similar to the idea of pricing bullets at $5000 each. You'd be much more careful about shooting someone.   

       But as far as the tetherball test that you mentioned – if you had actually done the test properly we would not be hearing from you again. So I guess I’m not going to be satisfied, am I?
ldischler, Oct 17 2002

       Gold? This is the 21st century, a microchip/sensor/transmitter system involving the harpoon and receptacle could transfer the cost between bank accounts.   

       This could be used to stop car thieves in their tracks the first time they use the harpoon...   

       <self doubt>am i going too deep into this idea?</self doubt>
MrKangaroo, Oct 21 2002

       Not only damage to the road, but how about your car? You would drop a lot of money on tires, shocks, axles, frame straightening, and windows (when your passenger's head bashes through his window).   

       Cars would have to be designed around this harpoon, like instant chain returners, gas to launch the projectile, and a reloader. it wouldn't be efficent to use this technology.   

       Good idea though, think boats.
Veritas, Feb 10 2003

       What's this grapple category all about?
grip, Oct 21 2003


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