A product design student from Nottingham Trent University has created a flood warning system for black spots that alerts drivers to dangerous road conditions.
The ‘GYZR’ Flood Awareness System uses a sensing bollard (left) placed permanently in flood-prone areas which records the level of water collecting on the surface using a hydrostatic sensor. It then sends this data to a nearby LED sign (below) using radio telemetry. The sign displays three warning levels depending on the severity of the flood: beware of flood; beware of flowing flood; road impassable.
“Approaching a large amount of water on the road can be daunting as you have no idea how deep it might be,” said creator Greg Rolleston, 22, from Ibstock in Leicestershire. “A bigger car could easily pass through which might influence the decision of a driver in a smaller car.
“This system removes that doubt and provides data which can help drivers make sensible decisions that could help reduce accidents and therefore potentially save lives. An egg cup of water in the combustion chamber can be enough to wreck an engine and aquaplaning essentially turns your car into an uncontrolled sled. The data can also be sent to companies who will find it useful, such as the Environmental Agency.”
Greg’s design is set to go on public display at Trent’s Art and Design Summer Show 2018. The event will feature works by more than 1,300 graduating artists and designers and is part of Nottingham Trent University’s 175th-anniversary celebrations.
“Greg has identified a clear need in relation to driver awareness and the need for real-time accurate monitoring of roads at risk of flooding,” said Dr Matthew Watkins, senior lecturer in Product Design at Nottingham Trent University.
“He has developed a novel solution that encourages drivers to make informed decisions based on accurate real-time information as to whether a flooded road is safely passable.”