Automotive fans, you have got to see this crazy video coming out of the Texas A&M Transportation Institute, where researchers have designed the ultimate bollard. The barrier that they’re collision testing in this video will be put into place at embassies around the world to protect the individuals working there. This is a super cool invention, and we know some of you ALH fans will geek out about this new anti-terrorism tool.
The Metal Crushing Action
Blink in the first seven seconds of this video and you will miss the action. Yup, that’s how long it takes for this demo truck (a former Blue Bell ice cream truck), moving at a speed of 50 miles per hour, to crash into the bollard. There’s a quick sound of impact, and then a second later there’s a louder smash of the truck cab hitting the ground. The truck is demolished and you’re wondering what the hell just happened.
Luckily for you, there’s a replay or four to follow that will break it down. The first replay shows a side view of the truck, moving at full speed, upon impact. The truck hits the bollard, and the bollard just slices through the truck cab with the same ease as a bread knife meeting a bagel. Then you see the collision face-on, watching the truck’s cab, engine, windshield, and cabin crumple and fly apart. Then you see it from above, the least exciting view because there isn’t as much to see. In an incredible close-up side showing, it looks like the truck’s front two wheels actually come apart from the rest of the truck body. It’s hard to say for sure from all the smoke. The black barrels on the flatbed are a stand-in for explosives. As you’ll see, they bounce around a little bit but do not move.
The Bollard in Question
The bollard itself is 24 feet wide and is submerged 18 inches underground. Researchers wanted to crash the truck into the bollard to see whether any part of the truck debris would make it one meter (or 3 feet) past the barrier. The test was a success, as not one piece of the debris made it more than one meter past the barrier. The driver’s safety was “not a primary concern,” researchers said. We’re pretty sure that the driver would not survive this, unless he or she somehow MacGuyvered a way to escape the truck pre-impact. The bollard shown in the video weighs 55,000 pounds and is made from a mixture of concrete and steel. It barely budges during the crash test, which places 750,000 pounds of force on it. That’s an incredible performance, and it’s amazing that the bollard is made from such common materials.
The Texas A&M Transportation Institute has performed crash test work for the State Department since 2001. While TTI does about $1 million worth of work for the State Department each year, their main business is in crash testing for highway safety.