AA Ireland has found a novel way to reach stranded motorists in record time.

The Automobile Association (AA) was founded to help motorists in distress. The organisation relies on a fleet of vans and motorcycles. The increasing amount of traffic on Irish roads mean it is taking longer for breakdown engineers to reach stranded motorists.

Now using jet-pack technology AA Ireland plans to go over the traffic rather than through it. The idea is a simple one. The breakdown engineer drives the patrol van as close to the stricken vehicle as traffic allows.

He'll then gather his lightweight tools, put on his jet-pack, and within an instant will be transported as the crow flies to the scene of the breakdown, where he can set about fixing the vehicle.

Team leader with AA Ireland John Merriman is worried about bird strikes but thinks the idea is a good one.

The hydrogen peroxide fuelled device has a top speed of 100 kilometres an hour, is equipped with a parachute, satellite navigation and doesn't require a pilot's licence.

Patrol manager with AA Ireland Noel Keogh sees the jet-pack as a viable option for his staff, particularly in the immediate Dublin area where the huge volumes of traffic makes mobility difficult for AA bike patrols. 

The system is still being trialled, and there have been a few teething problems. But the AA hopes to begin the rolling out process starting today, April 1st.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 1 April 2010. The reporter is Will Goodbody.