Standard reflective lane markers do little more than irritate weary drivers. Perhaps countless dollars and lives could be saved if lane markers did more than passively rumble under wandering tires.
I want to replace the dumb reflectors that we've glued to our roads by the millions with a device that will actively warn drivers of oncoming hazards.
In a package similar to current lane markers in size and shape, I intend to harness the power of vibrations from vehicles. These vibrations could be used to generate a small electrical current within the device through the motion of a magnet positioned within a coil and attached to a springy beam tuned to the typical road vibrations. The electrical current generated by the action of the magnet within the coil would be used to charge capacitors. This stored energy would then be used to power a light strobe that could be activated by a radio frequency signal emitted by work crews or emergency vehicles operating in the area.
These markers would be able to indicate looming road hazards and even move with road crews in a way that plastic cones or flares can't.
Yep, it sounds like the future.