Energy Absorbing Traffic Lights


Industry partner

Impact Absorbing Systems


Research organisation

University of South Australia


Manufacturing investment

($126,701 IMCRC)
for 2021-22

Next level of road safety solutions


Road accidents involving traffic lights are common, often resulting in severe damage or complete collapse of the traffic light structure. A general risk to road safety and with their replacement costing between $8000 – $20,000 per traffic light, local authorities are looking for new traffic light designs and structures that can withstand and absorb the kinetic energy generated through impact.

Proposed Solution

Impact Absorbing Systems (IAS) has developed an energy absorbing bollard (EAB) concept that can be applied to traffic lights. In partnership with the University of South Australia (UniSA) STEM, IAS plans to modify its existing EAB concept to suit the shape, length, size and location of common traffic lights. The aim is to develop an energy absorbing traffic light (EATL) that can arrest an out-of-control vehicle without being destroyed while at the same time significantly reducing the risk of injuries of vehicle occupants and close by pedestrians.

Leveraging IAS’s long years of expertise, experience and market leadership in road safety, an engineering research team from UniSA STEM will design and develop EATL concepts considering different shapes, sizes, material, and crumbing zones before committing to a manufacturing and installation strategy. Over the next 12 month, they will build and test various EATL designs using new materials and manufacturing techniques such as 3D printing to ensure the final EATL meets road safety standards. By integrating smart sensors, the team aims to monitor the state and performance of EATLs, offering local authorities access to critical data to predict and prevent incidences.