The result of a collaboration between 3M, BMW and the students of Politecnico di Milano, this concept proposes brushes of polymer tufts replacing Armco and surrounding street furniture as a way to make streets safer for motorcyclists. The idea is that the tufts could trap and cushion wayward riders and motorcycles, preventing high-speed collisions with the ground and particularly streetlamps, signs, bridge supports and other deadly obstacles.
The students suggest that the tufts could also contain ambient lighting
to highlight the presence of sharp corners and other hazards. A system
like these tufts could give the EU the safer crash barriers it’s
looking for after responding to pressure from pro-motorcycle lobbyists.
No word on how well the tufts restrain errant cars, but they could
potentially be used as supplementary barriers between the road and
Another concept from the same program is aimed at making potholes and
sinkholes more visible to riders and drivers alike. It proposes
incorporating layers of high-visibility color into asphalt as streets
are paved. The idea is that as holes are created in the top layer of
the road, they’ll expose the bright color beneath, warning road users
of the potential hazard. If they did that in New York we’d have more
neon orange and green than black.