Impact absorbing traffic light design aims to improve road safety

Energy Absorbing Traffic Light (EATL) impact test, Source: UniSA

Latest IMCRC activate project set to save lives, reduce costs and support local industry

In an effort to improve road safety, a new research collaboration is developing traffic lights that absorb kinetic energy during a collision.

With $100,000 in funding through the Innovative Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre’s (IMCRC) activate program, Australian road safety manufacturing company Impact Absorbing Systems (IAS) is collaborating with University of South Australia (UniSA) STEM to re-engineer and significantly reduce the risk of collision related injury to vehicle occupants and pedestrians using an energy absorbing traffic light (EATL) design. IAS is contributing $100,000 to the project which is worth $640,000 in total research effort.

The innovative energy transfer mechanism, which is currently used commercially in IAS’s Australian made energy absorbing bollards (EAB), will also minimise damage to traffic lights themselves, lowering replacement costs for the Department of Infrastructure and Transportation and local councils.

Over the next 12 months, IAS and UniSA STEM will optimise the existing EAB design to better suit the shape, length, size and location of common traffic lights. Operating out of UniSA’s Testlab and engineering design facilities, the team will use advanced manufacturing techniques, materials testing and computational modelling to build and test various EATL designs, delivering a world first product that complies with road safety standards.