Innovation That Matters

'Ghost' road barrier tricks drivers into stopping


Laservision's Softstop is a projection that aims to stop drivers from ignoring stop signs by giving the illusion of a physical barrier across the road.

While the majority of drivers obey road signs, there are some that will dangerously ignore a stop sign if they’re in a rush. Australia’s Laservision has now created the Softstop, a projected sign that gives the illusion of a physical barrier across the road.

Installed at the Sydney Harbour Tunnel in May this year, the Softstop was chosen as an alternative to traditional measures to stop traffic from entering the tunnel when it is unsafe to do so, or to let emergency services gain a more clear route. Instead of being relegated to the side of the road and the peripheral vision of drivers, Laservision’s solution consists of a sheet of water which drops down across the tunnel entrance. A projector then displays a large stop sign onto the water, giving the appearance that it is physically blocking the entrance. The water is collected and pumped back up to the top of the device to be recycled by the sign.

The Softstop tricks drivers into believing the tunnel is physically blocked, stopping them from dangerously entering and giving operators more time to install a real barrier if necessary. The sign was activated eight times over eight weeks during its trial run and had a 100 percent success rate, according to Bob Allen, General Manager at Tunnel Holdings which runs the tunnel. Could this kind of false barrier work in other locations or venues?

Spotted by Murray Orange, written by Springwise



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