A NEW device designed to stop your car from aquaplaning on wet roads could be the difference between life and death.
The Run Dry Traction System (RDTS) works by firing a jet of compressed gas close to the front of the vehicle's wheel – creating a dry patch of road for the tyres to grip.
There are hopes this new technology could help improve safety on roads across the UK when the current prototype is fully developed.
Wet weather conditions are responsible for 30% of all road accidents and only 2-3mm of surface water is needed on the road for a car to aquaplane.
Aquaplaning occurs when surface water builds up between a vehicle’s tyres and the road. Tyres lose grip of the road and drivers lose control of the steering, brakes and acceleration.
In early tests of the RDTS, the prototype reduced the time it takes for a vehicle to stop by up to 60%. Stopping distances were also decreased by 3-5 metres at speeds between 60 and 70 mph.
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Professor Mike Blundell, professor of vehicle dynamics and impact at Coventry University, said: “Our tests demonstrate that RDTS has the potential to make a huge impact on vehicle safety in a whole host of conditions.
“The prospect of producing something that could even save lives on the road is extremely exciting and after some initial success with testing, we’re now eager to look into manufacturing potential and further research to take this concept to the next level.
“A device like this really could be the difference between life and death if it can help vehicles to stop safely within certain distances and that’s why we’re so keen to continue developing this concept.”
The RDTS could not only be fitted to cars, but can also be used for buses, trucks and motorbikes.
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Researchers from Coventry University’s Research Centre for Future Transport and Cities developed the device over two years.
Ravi Ranjan, from Coventry University’s Research Centre for Future Transport and Cities said: “We have had discussions with several car manufacturers in the UK and they’re very excited about the prospect of the solution and they’re watching us very closely.”
In October, RDTS Technologies was named a “Company to Watch” by Automotive Ventures and was featured on Friday Five with Steve Greenfield on CBT Automotive Network.
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