This is why you pay attention in science class! What makes a musical road work is the basic physics of sound. A short, rapid vibration will create a high note, while a long, slower vibration will create a low note. Just like a guitar string or a saxophone reed, the bumps we make on the road vibrate the tires of your car to “hum” at just the right tones to recreate a melody.
We can’t tell you that. No, really, figuring that out was half the battle. The material we use is a DOT-approved asphalt synthetic with a super-strong adhesive backing that sticks it to the road. We reverse engineer the melody for the speed limit and the ladder-shaped design locks in the calculations.
We’re still figuring that out. Cars driving over the musical road will make the material thinner over time. By compression and friction, the thinner it gets, the quieter it will sound. Eventually, it will have to be replaced with fresh, new material to regain its volume. We are working on finding the best, most durable materials to help the musical road last as long as it can, but everything will eventually wear down and lose the original sound quality.
One of the great innovations behind ROADTUNES musical roads is that they are semi-permanent and non-destructive to the road surface. Previous installations have been made by cutting or pressing grooves into the road – which also wear down over time – but the patent-pending design of ROADTUNES can allow short-term installations and special events to create a musical road that can be removed anytime without requiring an expensive and cumbersome repaving of the road surface.
Yes, it does! Where careless drivers might blow right through a speed zone ignoring safe driving, researchers have found that the human desire to “participate” encourages drivers to keep the posted speed limit to hear the musical road. There are cases of musical roads being installed in Japan just to get drivers to slow down and it has been successful in decreasing accidents and saving lives.
Too slow and there’s not enough force in the tire hitting the bumps to make a quality sound…too fast and you’re buzzing right over it and using a lot more material (which can get expensive), but we think the best speed for a musical road is between 35-45mph.
ROADTUNES can install a custom-designed musical road anywhere there are relatively straight roads with a fixed speed limit. There should be plenty of space before the installation to get up to the proper speed and plenty of room after it to allow for safe driving. Traffic congestion can cause a change in driving speed and unsafe conditions for passengers enjoying the musical road. Beyond that, it works day or night, sunshine or rain, and for all cars big or small.