Author Topic: How would you use electronics to solve the 11' 8" bridge problem  (Read 12529 times)

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Online Nusa

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Re: How would you use electronics to solve the 11' 8" bridge problem
« Reply #75 on: January 09, 2018, 12:29:52 am »
It's funny, yet unsurprising how people insist on the reason being "stupid", while the statistics and psychology tell another story. Obviously, claiming moral superiority feels good, and people love pointing fingers and shake fists, but that doesn't mean it's right. It's a lesson aviation learnt a long time ago, but surprisingly hasn't quite trickled down to driving or the general public. You could put the death penalty on hitting that bridge and it's unlikely the numbers would be much different.
It’s simply not feasible to eliminate every hazard from everything everywhere. Regardless of whether you call it stupidity, obliviousness, distractedness, inattentiveness, or any of a gazillion psychological effects, at some point you have to draw the line of practicality and trust that most people will behave correctly.

Heck, even aviation, which has indeed eliminated tons of sources of mechanical and human failure, is now at the point where crashes are rare, but when they happen, they’re almost always human error now, despite checklists and procedures and simulator training.

I think whoever is responsible for the bridge has sufficiently accounted for that. People drive on (mental) autopilot or while being distracted by stress all the time, but they still recognize traffic lights; they have have the notion of red->stop down unconsciously. So the traffic lights should suffice.
I seriously doubt any such consideration was given, because that bridge was built in 1940. I don’t think tall trucks were even an issue then.

There were some, but not as many. Plus the streets on either side are overpasses and passable to trucks. It probably wasn't much of an issue at all until whenever the city decided to make streets one-way for traffic flow, which moved traffic off the larger parallel street and eliminated it's overpass as an option because it became one-way in the other direction.
 

Offline Red Squirrel

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Re: How would you use electronics to solve the 11' 8" bridge problem
« Reply #76 on: January 09, 2018, 01:20:48 am »
Freaking laser beams man. Pew pew!  Before the bridge have two towers on both sides of the road with a laser that goes across set to a bit below the bridge clearance (to account for vehicle shocks/bounce and snow on the road), if the beam is crossed it then activates a huge warning to stop.  I like the waterfall idea.  But that requires water/pipes, which will freeze in winter.  So could maybe use smoke instead?  It does not need to be a screen just something that grabs your attention like some kind of high pressure smoke jets from the top of the bridge or even shooting from the sides.    Not sure what is the best way to create this smoke though, and also keep it safe.  Needs to be a chemical you can just store and that it can activate at a moment's notice.

Best bet might just be a huge flashing warning, if you're still ignoring it then you deserve to ruin your car.  :P   Idealy there should be some solid metal beams right before the bridge that are slightly lower, so you hit that and not the bridge, if you still end up going through.  All these vehicles hitting that bridge are probably damaging it over time.
 

Offline tooki

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Re: How would you use electronics to solve the 11' 8" bridge problem
« Reply #77 on: January 09, 2018, 01:27:23 am »
Freaking laser beams man. Pew pew!  Before the bridge have two towers on both sides of the road with a laser that goes across set to a bit below the bridge clearance (to account for vehicle shocks/bounce and snow on the road), if the beam is crossed it then activates a huge warning to stop.  I like the waterfall idea.  But that requires water/pipes, which will freeze in winter.  So could maybe use smoke instead?  It does not need to be a screen just something that grabs your attention like some kind of high pressure smoke jets from the top of the bridge or even shooting from the sides.    Not sure what is the best way to create this smoke though, and also keep it safe.  Needs to be a chemical you can just store and that it can activate at a moment's notice.

Best bet might just be a huge flashing warning, if you're still ignoring it then you deserve to ruin your car.  :P   Idealy there should be some solid metal beams right before the bridge that are slightly lower, so you hit that and not the bridge, if you still end up going through.  All these vehicles hitting that bridge are probably damaging it over time.
Ummmmmm... they already use optical sensors (maybe lasers?) to check the height for 3 blocks in advance and light up a huge sign, and for years it’s had the solid steel beam to protect the bridge, which has been damaged in the past. I guess you didn’t read any of the thread, nor the FAQ I linked??
 
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Offline james_s

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Re: How would you use electronics to solve the 11' 8" bridge problem
« Reply #78 on: January 09, 2018, 01:28:33 am »
Is there a good reason not to have a railroad crossing style gate that lowers across the road when an over-height truck approaches? It sounds like they already have the height sensors in place.
 

Offline Red Squirrel

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Re: How would you use electronics to solve the 11' 8" bridge problem
« Reply #79 on: January 09, 2018, 01:41:00 am »
Freaking laser beams man. Pew pew!  Before the bridge have two towers on both sides of the road with a laser that goes across set to a bit below the bridge clearance (to account for vehicle shocks/bounce and snow on the road), if the beam is crossed it then activates a huge warning to stop.  I like the waterfall idea.  But that requires water/pipes, which will freeze in winter.  So could maybe use smoke instead?  It does not need to be a screen just something that grabs your attention like some kind of high pressure smoke jets from the top of the bridge or even shooting from the sides.    Not sure what is the best way to create this smoke though, and also keep it safe.  Needs to be a chemical you can just store and that it can activate at a moment's notice.

Best bet might just be a huge flashing warning, if you're still ignoring it then you deserve to ruin your car.  :P   Idealy there should be some solid metal beams right before the bridge that are slightly lower, so you hit that and not the bridge, if you still end up going through.  All these vehicles hitting that bridge are probably damaging it over time.
Ummmmmm... they already use optical sensors (maybe lasers?) to check the height for 3 blocks in advance and light up a huge sign, and for years it’s had the solid steel beam to protect the bridge, which has been damaged in the past. I guess you didn’t read any of the thread, nor the FAQ I linked??

I just skimmed the thread so messed that part. Looks like they did everything they could then, you can't stop stupidity.  Well you can, with a metal bar.  :-DD
 

Offline blueskull

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Re: How would you use electronics to solve the 11' 8" bridge problem
« Reply #80 on: January 09, 2018, 01:47:23 am »
I don't think there's much of the fault from the 11'8'', the reason it's infamous is because there's a camera taping it 24/7.
Sure, it's shorter than most bridges, but still taller than most indoor parking lots, and I'm sure there are also idiots smashing into ceilings or steel bars of those parking lots.
One way to mitigate is to learn from aviation -- require a special license for drivers running routes that pass below that bridge, just like special licenses for short runway airports.
 

Offline floobydust

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Re: How would you use electronics to solve the 11' 8" bridge problem
« Reply #81 on: January 09, 2018, 02:16:34 am »
Self-driving cars would probably screw up here as well.

The Tesla autonomous crash in 2016, where the semi trailer cut off the car and I think it drove underneath the trailer, not seeing it due to bright sky and white trailer or algorithm failure for above-vehicle obstacles.

Why don't we have driver assist technology? Some camera and stuff to alert drivers, before we go all out for autonomous cars?
 

Offline blueskull

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Re: How would you use electronics to solve the 11' 8" bridge problem
« Reply #82 on: January 09, 2018, 02:22:36 am »
Why don't we have driver assist technology? Some camera and stuff to alert drivers, before we go all out for autonomous cars?

Already there for high end cars as optional packages.
Audi has a lot of optional ADAS technologies available, including radars, thermal cameras, etc.
Honda has this HS (Honda Sense), and I think other car manufacturers have similar things.
On this year's CES, just laser radar technology itself has 16 manufacturers showing off their latest cool device.
NXP has their mmwave semiconductor for radars years ago, and TI unveiled their all-in-one mmwave SoC in 2017.
So yes, there are a lot of ADAS even long ago, just not popular in cheap cars.
 

Online Brumby

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Re: How would you use electronics to solve the 11' 8" bridge problem
« Reply #83 on: January 09, 2018, 02:37:50 am »
Why don't we have driver assist technology?

If we need to look at this to stop people running a red light, then we should abandon motor vehicles altogether.  Alternatively, replace all traffic lights with roundabouts.


Seriously though, driver assist technology just encourages drivers to not be as aware of their environment as they should.  IMHO.
 

Offline blueskull

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Re: How would you use electronics to solve the 11' 8" bridge problem
« Reply #84 on: January 09, 2018, 02:44:58 am »
Seriously though, driver assist technology just encourages drivers to not be as aware of their environment as they should.  IMHO.

 

Online Brumby

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Re: How would you use electronics to solve the 11' 8" bridge problem
« Reply #85 on: January 09, 2018, 03:16:20 am »
The augmented Darwinian model?
 

Offline IanB

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Re: How would you use electronics to solve the 11' 8" bridge problem
« Reply #86 on: January 09, 2018, 03:20:35 am »
Alternatively, replace all traffic lights with roundabouts.

What happens then is that people fail to notice the roundabout and drive right over it.

On one memorable occasion two people drove over the top of a local roundabout from different directions at the same time and collided in the middle of it. The newspaper photo of the two wrecked cars perched on top of the roundabout was a truly WTF moment.
I'm not an EE--what am I doing here?
 
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Offline blueskull

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Re: How would you use electronics to solve the 11' 8" bridge problem
« Reply #87 on: January 09, 2018, 03:23:32 am »
Alternatively, replace all traffic lights with roundabouts.

What happens then is that people fail to notice the roundabout and drive right over it.

On one memorable occasion two people drove over the top of a local roundabout from different directions at the same time and collided in the middle of it. The newspaper photo of the two wrecked cars perched on top of the roundabout was a truly WTF moment.

And I've seen one with a sign says "no left turn". It's as stupid as putting a sign on your car says "I stop at stop sign" or "I stop at no turn on right", and I've seen both. Seriously.
 

Offline tpowell1830

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Re: How would you use electronics to solve the 11' 8" bridge problem
« Reply #88 on: January 09, 2018, 03:31:22 am »
Freaking laser beams man. Pew pew!  Before the bridge have two towers on both sides of the road with a laser that goes across set to a bit below the bridge clearance (to account for vehicle shocks/bounce and snow on the road), if the beam is crossed it then activates a huge warning to stop.  I like the waterfall idea.  But that requires water/pipes, which will freeze in winter.  So could maybe use smoke instead?  It does not need to be a screen just something that grabs your attention like some kind of high pressure smoke jets from the top of the bridge or even shooting from the sides.    Not sure what is the best way to create this smoke though, and also keep it safe.  Needs to be a chemical you can just store and that it can activate at a moment's notice.

Best bet might just be a huge flashing warning, if you're still ignoring it then you deserve to ruin your car.  :P   Idealy there should be some solid metal beams right before the bridge that are slightly lower, so you hit that and not the bridge, if you still end up going through.  All these vehicles hitting that bridge are probably damaging it over time.

The water stop sign looks cool, but the down side is that when a driver sees this, the instinct is to slam on brakes.. on wet road...
Then the truck will slip and slide into the intersection anyways and crash into any number of things in the slippery water, maybe fishtailing around and hitting other cars. True, it would be a camera moment, but doesn't fix the problem.

Hmm, probably wouldn't work, but maybe a laser that paints a monster on the windshield with big teeth, like in the movie 'Alien'. I guess it would work if there was smoke in the area in front of the windshield. And then the message "In case you missed all of the other warning signs, your vehicle will crash into the bridge if you proceed."
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Offline frozenfrogz

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Re: How would you use electronics to solve the 11' 8" bridge problem
« Reply #89 on: January 09, 2018, 03:53:44 am »
Kudos to the brave and sturdy steel beam that is doing an AWESOME job protecting that bridge from insane truck driving skills all day and night! :clap: :clap: :clap: :-+
He’s like a trained ape. Without the training.
 
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Online BrianHG

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Re: How would you use electronics to solve the 11' 8" bridge problem
« Reply #90 on: January 09, 2018, 04:43:12 am »
Kudos to the brave and sturdy steel beam that is doing an AWESOME job protecting that bridge from insane truck driving skills all day and night! :clap: :clap: :clap: :-+
That beam should have been shaped and sharpened like a blade.  This way, the trucks could go through smoothly without noticing a thing...  :-DD
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Offline AG6QR

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Re: How would you use electronics to solve the 11' 8" bridge problem
« Reply #91 on: January 09, 2018, 04:46:52 am »
The water stop sign looks cool, but the down side is that when a driver sees this, the instinct is to slam on brakes.. on wet road...
Then the truck will slip and slide into the intersection anyways and crash into any number of things in the slippery water, maybe fishtailing around and hitting other cars. True, it would be a camera moment, but doesn't fix the problem.

Furthermore, the water curtain stop sign only works well at night.  Disneyland uses similar devices on some rides and entertainment systems. It's basically a slide projector that projects an image onto a sheet of water.  Notice the videos they showed of them were all done at night.  Good luck projecting a nice clear contrasty image during the day.

And pity the convertible owner, bicyclist, or motorcyclist who happens to be in front of the truck that triggers the waterfall.
 

Offline drussell

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Re: How would you use electronics to solve the 11' 8" bridge problem
« Reply #92 on: January 09, 2018, 05:31:39 am »
It is a main road leading to the port.  That's not a practical solution.
Main road? Port? Whaaa? It’s actually a small surface road in an old downtown, in a city that’s about 150 miles inland. Map link below.

Yes.  On, that point, I was mistakenly recalling one of the other roads with similar bridge problems.  Many similar problems exist in many, many areas, varying from very, very low to "how could you run into that," very, very tall. 

This particular one is nowhere near a port.  You are correct.
 

Online Jeroen3

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Re: How would you use electronics to solve the 11' 8" bridge problem
« Reply #93 on: January 09, 2018, 06:30:11 am »
Self-driving cars would probably screw up here as well.
No they won't. If the map says they won't fit. They won't drive there.
 
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Offline james_s

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Re: How would you use electronics to solve the 11' 8" bridge problem
« Reply #94 on: January 09, 2018, 04:51:48 pm »
Self-driving cars would probably screw up here as well.
No they won't. If the map says they won't fit. They won't drive there.

How many times have we seen someone drive the wrong way down a one way street, drive down an alley too narrow for a car, drive over a pedestrian bridge, etc because their GPS navigator told them to? A self driving vehicle is only as good as the programming it contains, we are a long way off from being able to put in a random address and have the car take you there reliably.
 

Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: How would you use electronics to solve the 11' 8" bridge problem
« Reply #95 on: January 09, 2018, 05:11:52 pm »
Give it a rest, dude. Nobody’s biting.

FYI, it seems to be about one such crash per month. Very few injuries, no deaths AFAIK. It’s not this hellish deathtrap you seem to have twisted it into in your mind! (Heck, I think the real worry was about damage to the railroad bridge, since any damage to the tracks could cause a derailment, which could wreak havoc and cause true death and mayhem.)
Nobody's biting because the question forces people to think of the problem in more nuanced term than just black and white. People don't like that and I completely understand. Of course it's more satisfying to feel superior and shake a fist at others. Nuance is tiresome and requires taking a look at your own mistakes too. If you look at the avalanche of self-righteous replies here, we must have a crowd that's surprisingly adept at driving cars safely. That coincides with up to 93% of drivers thinking they are above average in regards to safety, but is obviously unlikely to coincide with the actual numbers.

You indicate correctly why it might actually be a rather dangerous problem. There's plenty of examples around where bridges got damaged to the point that crossing wasn't safe any more, or even serious accidents happening. A truck veering into the wrong lane and into another car isn't unimaginable either. History is full waiting for deaths to finally act.

To me it's a clear cut UX problem, which is why your stance on the matter honestly surprises me a bit. There is an obvious mismatch between the desired behaviour of people and the actual behaviour. The behaviour is consistent too. If you design a product and people electrocute themselves with it every month, I don't think the authorities would take very long to act. It might not even make it to market, as preventing people from hurting themselves is getting ever more attention.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2018, 07:23:52 pm by Mr. Scram »
 

Online Nusa

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Re: How would you use electronics to solve the 11' 8" bridge problem
« Reply #96 on: January 09, 2018, 06:23:05 pm »
Alternatively, replace all traffic lights with roundabouts.

What happens then is that people fail to notice the roundabout and drive right over it.

On one memorable occasion two people drove over the top of a local roundabout from different directions at the same time and collided in the middle of it. The newspaper photo of the two wrecked cars perched on top of the roundabout was a truly WTF moment.

And I've seen one with a sign says "no left turn". It's as stupid as putting a sign on your car says "I stop at stop sign" or "I stop at no turn on right", and I've seen both. Seriously.

Not so stupid when you realize how rare roundabouts are in the US. So there's always someone coming along who's never seen one before. Redundant signage is essential!
 

Offline 97hilfel

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Re: How would you use electronics to solve the 11' 8" bridge problem
« Reply #97 on: January 09, 2018, 06:35:03 pm »
I think some here mentioned options are more expensive than just digging the road a little deeper like the water curtains, those are probably very expensive and do only get used when the tunnel is built and not 10m long but 100m.
My idea would be to completely limit passthrough for trucks altogether even for smaller once so that wouldn't be any more a problem. Another solution might be the steel pipe option like mentioned earlier its a very cheap and effective option gets used in Europe (Italy) a lot for tunnels and bridges.
As soon as you start aiming for electronic solutions you may start digging because most electronic solutions will be more expensive than just a sign limiting passthrough or lowering the road.
 

Offline metrologist

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Re: How would you use electronics to solve the 11' 8" bridge problem
« Reply #98 on: January 09, 2018, 06:42:31 pm »
Arduino connected to a Lazer sensor to detect truck height. The Arduino gets the lazer signal broken and activates a conveyor on the road to stop the truck collision. It's new Smart Bridge technology.

Or the waterfall stop sign was good too...
 

Offline tooki

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Re: How would you use electronics to solve the 11' 8" bridge problem
« Reply #99 on: January 09, 2018, 07:20:28 pm »
Alternatively, replace all traffic lights with roundabouts.

What happens then is that people fail to notice the roundabout and drive right over it.

On one memorable occasion two people drove over the top of a local roundabout from different directions at the same time and collided in the middle of it. The newspaper photo of the two wrecked cars perched on top of the roundabout was a truly WTF moment.

And I've seen one with a sign says "no left turn". It's as stupid as putting a sign on your car says "I stop at stop sign" or "I stop at no turn on right", and I've seen both. Seriously.
It sounds stupid until you realize that some cities in USA have traffic “circles” that are multi-lane with intersections and traffic lights in them, sometimes even with bidirectional traffic! (It’s that crap that gave actual roundabouts a bad name in USA, which is why they’ve been reintroduced as “roundabouts” instead of “traffic circles”.)
 


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