…and no, I’m not talking about stopping bullets here, but cars. That’s right, an emerging technology that could have a major impact on the way cars are designed in the future is currently being developed, with the new technology having the potential to save thousands of lives in serious car crashes.
According to a report by motorauthority.com:
The new technology is a special gel called d3o, which was developed by British chemical engineering company d3o Lab. The gel is described as a dilatant material and has the ability to harden almost instantly when violently impacted, such as from the force exerted from a speeding bullet or an oncoming car. In its natural state it resembles play dough.
Military groups are currently looking at the material as a lightweight and flexible padding for armored vests and this has led automakers such as Mazda to investigate d3o’s use in an automotive setting.
Speaking with Carsguide, Mazda’s European R&D chief, Peter Birtwhistle, said innovations such as d3o were “fascinating” and presented “glimpses of future design”.
He went on to explain that d3o could be used around a car’s cabin, such as in the lining of seats or around a baby’s bassinet. “It has unlimited applications in a car to protect its occupants,” he said.
Right now, this protective gel is being used in numerous protective products like motorcycle gloves, ski jackets, cell phone cases and more products are emerging with the added protection of the compound.
Here’s a quick video on how it works:
It’s a pretty amazing material and has a nearly unlimited number of protective applications.
I’d really like to see this applied to the automotive world. How do you see this compound being used in the protective systems of today’s cars, trucks and SUVs? Does anyone have first hand experience with d3O? If so tell me about it!