Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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autonomous moving sign

Slow moving vehicle moving sign
  (+7, -2)
(+7, -2)
  [vote for,

Out here in the country, the folks deal with hard times in two ways: speed up to cram more in your day, or slow down to conserve. There have been disasters.

I propose a small wheeled radio controlled slow moving vehicle sign that automatically follows under 20mph vehicle at 100 yards to help prevent the 70mph folks from running them over. They would be DOT approved, and owned by the SMV, not the county or state, so no expense to tax payers.

Something like a faster Roomba with a triangle on it.

n81641, Jun 08 2008


       Sounds like this would reduce selection pressures on the roads, so [-].
8th of 7, Jun 08 2008

       //reduce selection pressures// You mean slow driver are similar weak beings and should be killed ?
n81641, Jun 08 2008

       Not necessarily. Fast drivers are also self-eliminating. As long as the total number of vehicles is reduced, thus unclogging the roads and cutting demand for fuel, it's a good thing.
8th of 7, Jun 08 2008

       //Fast drivers are also self-eliminating//
Sloppy thinking
Only the fast drivers who stop very suddenly.
AbsintheWithoutLeave, Jun 08 2008

       Doesn't this just artificially increase the number of people slowing down to conserve? Why not increase the number of people speeding to cram up their day?   

       Thus, I would prefer even faster Roombas with cowcatchers racing autonomously ahead of speeders to warn (that is, clear) the pathways.   

       Combine the two, of course, and you eliminate the advantage, so what you are looking for is not autonomous moving signs, but autonomous moving signs with a bias on the side of your preferred utopian motorway.   

       Apparently for you it is one where everyone drives 20mph.
mylodon, Jun 09 2008

       The SMV could tow a sign on a 100 yard rope.   

       //Roomba with a triangle on it//
How do you warn people that they're fast approaching an autonomous moving sign?

       //everyone drives 20mph//
[mylodon], traffic behind a road line painting truck will be at the same speed as the truck. There may even be work vehicles with lighted signs a few yards behind it (existing technology). These tend to have human drivers.
Amos Kito, Jun 09 2008

       Some assumptions:   

       The state or county has no money for roads, so a dual roadway is out, or permanent signs, like the "bicycle in tunnel" LED signs I've seen around.   

       People are going to go both 65mph and 20mph on country roads, can't be helped.   

       This could be an inexpensive way for those who need to drive 20mph to have some added safety, for both parties.   

       The road is not anyway near capacity, and the fast folks will be able to pass in short order.   

       The roads are curvy, hence the need for a follower.   

       The moving sign will be relatively small and urethane, with blinking light, and will not damage a car that happens to hit it. It will run along the side of the road.   

       I'm not very biased one way or the other: I'm fast when I'm late to pick up my wife, and slow when I'm towing a 11,000 lb trailer full of gravel.   

       This won't help with city traffic or superhighways. Not intended to.
n81641, Jun 09 2008

       "n81641" - is that N-81641 by any chance ?
8th of 7, Jun 09 2008

       Yes, checked the FAA registry, have you?
n81641, Jun 09 2008

       Oh yes. Sweet !
8th of 7, Jun 10 2008

       While I was sitting shotgun on a road trip the driver, our high school coach, asked me if our station wagon was smoking. I looked back to see a teammate feeding long lengths of toilet paper out the back window. This really annoyed those drivers attempting to overtake our conservatively driven vehicle, particularly when these lengths would at some point snap off and cling to their front. I must admit to hysterical laughter watching our coach simultaneously drive, yell, and attempt suppressing laughter.   

       Although less eco friendly and likely to encourage road rage, it had the same effect as the device you propose.
CwP, Jun 13 2008

       Given the Roomba's well-known tendency to seek out others of its kind, I feel that this idea, put into practice, might produce some rather negative side-effects. By providing the Roomba both increased speed and increased range, you are effectively enabling it to search for other Roombas at an advanced pace and over a much wider territory. It is not hard to envision a grim future in which innocent country-dwelling folk are menaced by huge packs of feral Slow-Moving Vehicle signs, which cooperate to set up deadly ambushes along rural highways and secondary roads. Meanwhile, vast herds of wild rabbit-powered lawn-mowing tanks will overtake the landscape, desroying crops and pushing out domestic herds, leading to mass starvation and an overabundance of rabbit poop.   

       Think about it, people: is this really the future we want to hand down to generations to come?
Alterother, Jun 13 2008

       Yes, why not.
8th of 7, Jun 13 2008


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