The conventional braking system on cars has been around for some time now. Typically, brake callipers clamp onto a rotating disc and slow the car down and that’s that.
Well, for Swedish-based company Autoliv who manufactures safety technologies for cars, they’ve invented the Torricelli brake which believe it or not, uses a gigantic vacuum to suck you onto the road to slow you down just that little bit quicker.
The system shares its name with the inventor of the barometer and ties into the automatic braking system found in most cars today. When activated, the Torricelli brake generates a suction power of 1,360 kg, forcing the Mercedes-Benz E-Class to come to a complete stop.
Autoliv say that the unique braking system can decrease braking distances by up to 40% at speeds of around 65 km/h which when applied to a city driving scenario, would certainly be more than sufficient to assist those who fail to brake in time to avoid another car or pedestrian, leaving the autonomous braking system to kick into action.
The prototype seen here isn’t devoid of issues though. Firstly, no car manufacturer’s safety system is built to handle the immense power of the vacuum-braking system (bodily pain is a concern here). Secondly, what would happen if it was activated on uneven or roads littered with small stones. Thirdly, look at the size of the thing! Retrofitting is certainly a huge undertaking as you’d might expect.
However, giving credit where credit is due, the Torricelli vacuum-brake system is certainly impressive and a very unlikely way one might imagine of stopping a car.