Respect speed limit, get free music from...asphalt ?
November 13, 2007 5:11 PM   Subscribe

Respect speed limit, get free music from...asphalt ? When driving in Japan remember to respect the speed limits , you may be instantly rewarded by hearing a tune as played by...your car and the road.
posted by elpapacito (25 comments total)
I'd just be tempted to drive really fast so it'd sound like the Chipmunks.
posted by Johnny Assay at 5:16 PM on November 13, 2007 [1 favorite]

I hear if you drive in reverse over those roads at the right speed you'll hear a voice telling you to kill yourself. Totally true*.

* For certain values of true.
posted by inflatablekiwi at 5:20 PM on November 13, 2007 [5 favorites]

What would make this extra cool is if, over the parts where the coloured musical notes are on the road surface, they cut in grooves so that it sounded like the series of bleeps and bloops you used to hear when you started playing a cassette album.
posted by chrominance at 5:25 PM on November 13, 2007

Where I-95 tees into 128 south of Boston, there are rumble strips all the way across the road, to wake up drivers at night and make sure they know that they have to turn or they'll die. I used to think it would be cool if they made a voice that said "Wake up" or "Slow down" -- but it would be really hard to do that. (And the way winter punishes the pavement there, it wouldn't last anyway.)
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 5:33 PM on November 13, 2007

More musical movement.
posted by inconsequentialist at 5:35 PM on November 13, 2007 [1 favorite]

Slam the brakes, back up quickly, slam the brakes, rock the car back and forth, jam it into first for 30 meters, slam the brakes, forward, backward, halt, backward, halt, backward, forward, and so on.

When the cops finally stop you, tell them you're scratching.
posted by ardgedee at 5:42 PM on November 13, 2007 [3 favorites]

Thanks for the post, this is really interesting, and it coincides with a similar idea I had some years back, and which I think of from time to time but, sadly, have no way of actually implementing. I imagined something quite similar, but instead of a melody creating scheme, my idea was strictly rhythmic: you'd have variously spaced speed bumps along a stretch of highway, so you'd get various rhythms. Tight clusters of bumps would give you a sustain or drumroll effect, single bumps a single percussive hit.

Brrrrrrrr pop
Brr Brr pop
Brrrrrrrr pop
Brr Brr pop
Brr pop pop pop
Brrrrrrrr pop

for example.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:54 PM on November 13, 2007 [1 favorite]

I definitely remember driving over the rumble strip somewhere in northern WA and having it play some inane ditty... possibly "Mary Was A Little Lamb," and I laughed as I immediately realized how it was done, and how cute that was. Had to have been five years ago now, so this idea isn't quite new... though if they're putting it over an entire road, I'm sure that'll get annoying fast.
posted by mek at 6:01 PM on November 13, 2007

Flapjax : I tought of
Mmm bop, ba duba dop
Ba du bop, Ba du dop
Ba du bop, Ba du dop
Ba du
but yours better !
posted by elpapacito at 6:18 PM on November 13, 2007

but yours better

It's all good, man, it's all good! Variety!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:21 PM on November 13, 2007


ba da dop

ba da dop

ba da da da be-ow


ba da dop

ba da dop

re-ow re-ow re-ow re-ow!
posted by stenseng at 6:28 PM on November 13, 2007

The impression I get, though it's not made explicit, is that these are just regular old roads that they're doing this to. Not extra, optional, novelty roads. In which case: No. No no no no no.

Please, please world-- stop taking what I hear at any given moment out of my hands. Stop putting TVs out of reach over the dentist chairs. Stop making those web ads that talk. Stop containing people who don't understand that good, non-sound-leaky headphones are a courtesy. Stop giving every single public space a soundtrack. I do not enjoy these things. They are actually a little bit violating.

So stop it.
posted by jinjo at 8:57 PM on November 13, 2007 [1 favorite]

My Dad had this idea years ago, but he envisioned the system playing ads while you drive: "bzzzzz buy bzzzzzz Goodyear bzzzzzz tires"...
posted by twsf at 8:59 PM on November 13, 2007

I wonder what the subtitles that were shown during the road-music were about.
posted by stavrogin at 9:00 PM on November 13, 2007

So stop it.

jinjo, I feel your pain. Warning: don't ever come to Tokyo or other big Japanese cities. It's the land of nonstop noise pollution. Jingles everywhere, giant TV screens blaring music video clips and ads, TVs everywhere, dopey little songs played over the loudspeakers on the train platforms, trucks of all kinds driving through the neighborhood streets blaring all manner of announcements, the right-wingers screaming and playing martial music from their big black jeeps... It can get pretty tiresome.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:14 PM on November 13, 2007

stavrogin, they were the lyrics to the song that was being played.
posted by bakerybob at 9:22 PM on November 13, 2007

I'll bet that road is really painful on a road bike. Down with rumble strips!
posted by ssg at 9:30 PM on November 13, 2007

Sometimes people do things just because they can. It's what makes us people.
posted by davejay at 11:08 PM on November 13, 2007

It sounds like farts.
posted by dirigibleman at 12:10 AM on November 14, 2007

Patent number 6259374, "Passive pavement-mounted acoustical linguistic drive alert system and method", filed Sept. 1999. Also, "RoadTalker", for highway safety, by C. Johnson.
posted by jjwiseman at 12:39 AM on November 14, 2007

It's instructive to take a walk along any length of road with significant rumble strips, and see the hundreds of bolts, washers, nuts, wheel balance weights, suspension shims, and other auto and truck parts you find tightly clustered around the rumble strip areas. Comparatively high frequency, high amplitude vibration easily shakes off loose, and sometimes not-so-loose hardware at amazing rates.
posted by paulsc at 4:13 AM on November 14, 2007

Down with rumble strips!

I was thinking the same thing. In my area they are doing some massive road construction projects, and for the better part of a month, they had routed about a mile and a half's worth of traffic onto the shoulder that used rumble strips.

My god that gets irritating, every few seconds having a big jolt come through your feet and arms.

I can't imagine any road designer doing this by choice.
posted by quin at 10:49 AM on November 14, 2007

Metafilter: Brrrrrrrr pop!
posted by Hairy Lobster at 10:50 AM on November 14, 2007

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