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Japanese Melody Roads: Social Engineering Through Smart Design

Posted in General by Vito Rispo | July 30th, 2008 | 1 Response |

You know those grooves cut in the side of some roads to let you know if you’ve strayed too close to the shoulder? Well some designers and engineers at the Hokkaido Industrial Research Institute and the institute in Sapporo in Japan have thought up a way to use that concept to help control speeders. The grooves, when cut at different intervals on the roads surface, will create musical notes as cars drive over them. Those notes can then be strung together to create songs that will only be audible at certain speeds. Driving too fast or too slow would create an unpleasant hum. They’ve dubbed the roads “Melody Roads”.

The designers say the grooves could be cut in accident prone or rarely traveled areas like winding mountain roads. Currently there are only three Melody Roads in central and northern Japan, one of which plays the tune of a Japanese pop song. But apparently the songs are a bit more faint that you may imagine; you have to keep your windows rolled up and radio off to have a chance at hearing them.

I’ve written a few times about the idiocy of national speed limits in the United States, but I have to admit, I love this concept. Interesting industrial design is always cool.

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One Response

  1. larry says:

    talk about a rubber band