A new barrier meant to stop a speeding truck or vehicle has been described as "brutally efficient" and "seriously scary," and when you see it barreling down a dirt road at 50 mph and coming to a dead stop when it hits the steel structure, you'll understand why.
But the destruction of this truck by researchers at the Texas A&M Transportation Institute isn't to demonstrate barriers that we typically see, like those that block lanes of opposing traffic on a highway. According to the Texas Tribune, this specific barrier is being developed to prevent terrorists from getting close to certain targets with the intent of causing explosions or other types of destruction.
Watch the footage of the "perimeter security device" in action:
"Embassies and other security-sensitive locations are increasingly being built in urban areas where something previously stood. The utilities at the perimeter of these properties — where sidewalks and streets are located — may be buried within 2 ft. of the surface. Previously, bollards had to be mounted deeper than 2 ft. to stop vehicles from crashing into sensitive buildings. Sandia National Laboratories and the U.S. Department of State teamed with TTI to design and successfully crash test a shallow mount bollard that can be installed in an 18- inch deep concrete foundation," the institute's website stated.
While creating such barriers for the State Department is not the institute's primary focus — most of its work centers on highway safety, the Tribune reported — it does conduct about $1 million worth of protective barrier testing a year.
"It's a gratifying job," engineer Dean Alberson told KTBC-TV about the project. "We got our start in highway safety and have designed a number of things that help protect people when they inadvertently leave the road and now we're protecting people in facilities around the world. It is gratifying work as you can imagine."
This bent pipe design that halted the 15,000-pound truck will be installed at U.S. embassies within the next year, according to the news station.
"What you try and do is stay one step ahead of the terrorists as they [devise] their next evil plot in order to bring one of those embassies down," Fred Burton, a former State Department counterterrorism agent, told KTBC.