Day 042 – Indian traffic-kinetic experiments

2008/10/15 § Leave a comment

Traffic in India is not propelled by petrol or other fossil fuels alone; it is propelled by “almost collisions” (AC), which saves huge amounts of petrol. India has discovered this as a means of saving money and protecting the environment, by reducing exhausts. The way it works is somewhat technical and hard to explain to the layperson but I will attempt to break it down for you, precious reader.

One driver, let´s say a taxi driver, will speed up as much as he can (Taxi drivers are always male in India, in case you asked. Suck on this you militant feminists 😉 ) when, for example, in the process of trying to take a right turn (or performing pretty much about any feat in traffic: speed up is the key word in traffic in India, fullstops). The driver will next aim at let´s say a bicycle rickshaw or pedestrian or any other participant in traffic and stay on the chosen target as long as possible. Only in the last split-second, only a blink of an eye away from total impact and personal human disaster as well as quite a bit of blood-loss, the driver will jack the steering wheel around so wildly and furiously that he merely and clearly too closely evades the opponent.

In a process that is both, too complicated to explain (because it would contain words like potential and kinetic energy and joules (not the name, the physical measure) and crazy abbreviations and some rather ordinary ones like “a” and so, too, and speed of light and quantum physics and stuff) and defying logic and the laws of thermodynamics, the car AND the rickshaw are both propelled dynamically and extraordinarily.

However, in short, air, which is compressed between the two, acts as an energy buffer that, if additionally swirled by sudden movement, as produced by insane steering wheel movements, will release more energy than it has taken to compress the air. In other words, you get more punch for the pound (not the lovely old ladies drink, which can warm you so magnificently, especially on long and cold winter evenings, though one would certainly also be pleased having to spend less on booth…but the boxing action, metaphorical for power).

Now the genius of this process is that the driver will force all the other traffic behind and next to him into ACs similarly to the one just produced by himself (still a male driver. Everyone driving in India is male anyway. And why would they not be?). In a perpetual domino-like process huge amounts of kinetic energy are produced and hundreds of liters of petrol are saved per square meter street.

This can be measured by square meter of street because the streets in India are packed so tightly with cars, motorbikes, rickshaws, buses, small airplanes and cows that the whole of India´s street system approximates, mathematically speaking, one completely covered area. By day and (especially) by night.

India´s attempt to export this system to Europe has not yet been perceived too well over there. The central and northern European states uttered some lame road safety concerns. Time and again Europe sadly enough puts human life before environmental concerns. However, some trials were reported to be going on in some states less squeamish Especially the experiments in Spain and southern Italy look promising!

In short, does Indian traffic drive you nuts? Totally…


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