People tend to approach speed-bumps in one of three ways. They remain at their current speed and drive straight through without a care or thought for the car’s undercarriage or suspension. They slow down to an appropriate speed and glide over the top. Or they slow down so much they cause drivers behind them to brake (and curse) violently. The Bumpfree Dynamic Speed Bump concept could change the way drivers approach a speed deterrent in the future. It will allow drivers who are traveling at the right speed limit to pass over the hump without hindrance but will "remind" drivers traveling above the limit to slow down by creating the same feeling one gets when passing over a speed-bump - but without the usual speed-bump impact.
Like speed-bumps that automatically retract at low speed, the Dynamic Speedbump is designed to reward drivers who are traveling at the correct speed - by offering an almost unnoticeable pass. Internal cells within the speed bump will contain non-Newtonian Thixotropic fluids which will instantly react with the speed at which a driver makes contact with the speed-bump – immediately reminding them if they are going too fast.
Extra details like the double-layer bladder protection will help to ensure a long product life and allow the speed bump to be used in various conditions. Physically-scaled testing thus far has shown promising results using different body constructions, internal fluids and approach speed.
The Bumpfree Speedbump is expected to be most useful in environments where speed needs to be kept at a safe level, for example hospitals, school zones, or where vehicles are entering and exiting with precious cargo or people onboard. It can be placed against a piece of shaped bitumen or be in a bolt down form of plastic. Made mostly from recycled rubber, the dynamic speed humps will be textured and suited for the environment in which they are placed.
Designed by an Australian student from Newcastle University, Bryce Killen, the Bumpfree Dynamic Speed Bump has made the shortlist for the 2010 Australian Design Awards. Drivers with a low-slung undercarriage on their car might be hoping this is one concept that comes to fruition.