Since there are no currently active contests, we have switched Climate CoLab to read-only mode.
Learn more at
Skip navigation
Share via:


Generate electricity from stopping vehicles at traffic lights and stop signs



The idea is quite simple. We could create a mechanical device that functions like a speed bump but generates electricity when a vehicle drives over it. I'm thinking of 2 different kinds of devices. A passive one that stays in place for stop signs when incoming vehicles are always supposed to stop. From the perspective of the driver, it acts like a normal speedbump. It converts energy which would have been dissipated by the brakes into energy. An "active" device could be created for traffic lights. The device would go up when the light turns red to recover energy from stopping vehicles, and it lowers down into the ground and presents a flat surface with no extra resistance when the light turns green. The active version of the device needs to be connected to the traffic light to activate at the right time. It could also use sensors to detect incoming cars to only activate when it's necessary. The hard design problems come from making this safe for pedestrians and kids as it could easily crush someone's hand if it's not designed carefully, but there already similar devices on the roads, so I'm confident it's solvable.

Category of the action

Reducing emissions from electric power sector.

What actions do you propose?

Who will take these actions?

Where will these actions be taken?

How much will emissions be reduced or sequestered vs. business as usual levels?

What are other key benefits?

Relatively low cost

Saves brakes' lifetime

No downsides other than those associated with standard speed bumps



What are the proposal’s costs?

Time line

Related proposals