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Warp brakes

Do something useful with all this advanced starship technology
  [vote for,

Braking is always a compromise between stopping quick enough (or you hit something/body) and not stopping too quick (and endangering the people inside). Not any more.

When you hit the brake pedal hard, the car will activate its warp brakes. These are like a little warp engine, only backwards. They expand the space in front of the car and contract the space behind it, so that a moving car can suddenly be standing stationary. Inside the warp bubble, the car is still moving forwards. Now the danger has been averted, the car can (still on the spot) slow down gently.

The tricky bit is the interaction between the car and the outside world. The interface (the area of space in which the expansion and contraction are happening) will need to be only a couple of centimetres thick, and moulded around the car shape. Any further, and you risk trying to warp the space within somebody's hand, rather damaging them.

I also expect the tyres to be irreparably damaged (churned into rubbery butter, to be precise) so this can only be an emergency procedure. Or you could find some way of quickly removing the tyres from contact with the road so that the warp field can go around them.

sadie, Nov 18 2002


       Probably an L.A. gang could remove the tyres faster than the car could fall to the road.
FarmerJohn, Nov 18 2002

       How is this not a [WTCTTISITMWIBNIIWR]?
krelnik, Nov 18 2002

       That little buggy in the game Moon Patrol could bounce up into the air to avoid rocks, aliens etc. Perhaps this technology could be adapted to get the tires off the road. The Moon Patrol theme song would have to play at the same time.   

       Other possibility: simply warp the road under the tires. Damage could be attributed to potholes or road salt and repaired at government expense.
bungston, Nov 18 2002

       Well, sheesh, if you've got warp technology, why does your car need brakes at all? It can simply zap you directly to your destination, no buckling your seatbelt.
DrCurry, Nov 18 2002

       Your brake rotor might be warped
thumbwax, Nov 18 2002

       Aren't you leaving the poor person behind you substantially less room to stop?
lurch, Nov 18 2002

       what lurch said. And what happens if you get stuck in a space which is, when the warp brakes are disengaged, smaller than the car itself? your + is in purgatory until you find me a solution ;op
yamahito, Nov 19 2002

       Shirley all faster - than - light drives incorporate the ability automatically to plot a course around obstacles? Otherwise your average starship would have a very short life expectancy indeed.   

       [krelnik], I dont see this as a WTCTTIS* - what you said (sheesh - and we complain about www.) - but rather WTCTTISITM If It Were Real What Practical Applications Could It Have? IMHO a subtle difference, but enough to allow an idea to stand due to the inventive step necessary to envisage an alternative use. If it paints an amusing picture too, so much the better. That makes it a WITTICISM.   

       (For the uninitiated, WTCetc means "Wasn't that cool that thing I saw in that movie wouldn't it be nice if it were real". And WDIJGRTHP means "Why don't I just go read the help page".)
egbert, Nov 20 2002

       // How is this not a [WTCTTISITMWIBNIIWR]? //   

       I think that's a little harsh. Starship technology is WIBNI, yeah, but i've never seen it applied to the internal combustion engine before. Don't be so mean. *sniffle*   

       // And what happens if you get stuck in a space which is, when the warp brakes are disengaged, smaller than the car itself? //   

       In emergencies, you could always just keep in the backwards-warp-forwards-momentum holding pattern until you were ready to move off. You're right though, the field would have to expand with the car as it slowed down in its own space. It would just have to stop expanding before hitting something (and churning it into chutney).   

       Speaking of garnishes, you'd have to lock this thing into the car quite securely to stop somebody from ripping the device out and using it to murder their neighbors...   

       // Shirley all faster - than - light drives incorporate the ability automatically to plot a course around obstacles? //   

       Space is surprisingly empty, compared to a busy street.
sadie, Nov 24 2002

       Ok sadie and egbert, if you're right then I *really* don't understand the [m-f-d] section of the help page. <wanders off scratching head>
krelnik, Nov 24 2002

       Well, if you have magic physics-violating technology, it tends to be trivial to use it to achieve anything you want. (cf. Star Trek fans coming up with new uses for transporters.)
bookworm, Nov 25 2002


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