In their continuing quest for for more lightweight and simple automobiles, Mercedes Benz has announced it has been experimenting with a system which would shoot a chunk of steel into the pavement between the front wheels if sensors determine an impending collision.
The system, dubbed Braking Bag would use essentially an airbag to push a steel plate onto the road with the resulting friction decreasing braking distances. "It's still in the experimental phase" according to Rodolfo Schöneburg, MB's Head of Passenger Car Safety Development "but I'm confident that by 2015 it could be a reality". Presumably by then they will have figured out how not to lift the front wheels and lose all directional control...
(via Corriere Della Sera)
And here is the rest of it.