Vehicle: Car: Mirror: Periscope
Car periscope   (+11, -1)  [vote for, against]
Lost or unsure which way to go? Take a look around.

Periscopes should be available on automobiles to help decide which way to go. Many times, I have found myself trying to drive somewhere, relying on a less than perfect set of directions. Reaching an intersection where I'm not sure which way to turn, I've ended up choosing the wrong way and having to backtrack. If I had a periscope, I could raise it up several yards and look at where the choices led, scanning for my next landmark, without actually having to drive down one of the roads.

Additionally, a car periscope could be used to get a better view of a traffic jam, to see if there is a way to detour around it.

The periscope could be equipped with a zoom lens to get more detail. It could also have a night vision setting, and perhaps an infrared setting, to make it useful at night and in poor weather.
-- PotatoStew, Sep 06 2000

HBO's Curb hillarious take on the subject
[theircompetitor, Sep 05 2011]

Many surplus places sell army-surplus tank periscopes, cheap. (For example, search for "periscope"). Would be straightforward to engineer for cars.
-- rmutt, Sep 06 2000

Since the roads are full of SUVs, this could become standard equipment for subcompact car owners.
-- tenhand, Sep 07 2000

You got this idea from watching Sienfeild didn't you. I thought that episode was totally funny to.
-- wood2coal, Sep 08 2001

Look out for bridges / overpasses.

wood2coal: totally funny to what? You seem to have left out the last word of your annotation.
-- snarfyguy, Sep 08 2001

The periscope would just need to be retractable to deal with bridges etc.

I expect that wood2coal meant 'funny too'...
-- RobertKidney, Sep 08 2001

Look out for bridges / overpasses.

wood2coal: totally funny to what?
-- snarfyguy, Sep 08 2001

I love this place. Every 'original' thought I have had has been already baked or beaten to death in this forum. It's like I can have an idea and get feedback on it without even typing or asking anybody.

Only this morning, I was sitting in traffic, straining to see past the next few cars, wishing for one of these. The only problem is there wouldn't be a periscope tall enough to see over all the busses clogging up the road.

My eventual solution was a little different. I need a GPRS-PDA with a colour web browser. Every bit of busy road in this city has a government web-cam on it. All I need to do is log on to the Department of Transport website and look at the tunnel exit on the other side of the mountain. Too practical for HB....
-- FloridaManatee, Mar 04 2003

I don't think so. May've been done already, but you should check and see. If not, you should post it in its own right.
-- snarfyguy, Mar 04 2003

-- SonicDeathMonkey, Mar 04 2003


[Sonic], would these tunnel under like a TBM or scoot along like a RC car carrying a hand grenade?
-- FloridaManatee, Mar 05 2003

They would have fins! and be shaped like penguings! and the bottom side would be covered with vaseline so that the penguin torpedo may slide along flapping it's fins towards it's intended target!
-- SonicDeathMonkey, Mar 05 2003

This would be an excellent tool for traffic jams when I'm not sure the tall vehicle in front of me is going to inch forward enough for me to bother with putting my car in gear. You can look for the shadow of the car two cars ahead, but that isn't always possible.

A dashboard display for a small camera on a flexible retractable rod would be easier to work with than a periscope.
-- evildork, Jun 25 2008

random, halfbakery