Pretty Soon, Brake Lights May Get A Whole Lot Smarter

Illustration for article titled Pretty Soon, Brake Lights May Get A Whole Lot Smarter

The problem of brake lights not distinguishing between gingerly slowing down and rapidly stopping is now being addressed. Researchers at Virginia Tech University are developing smart brake lights. The intelligent braking lights will have a series of LEDs that will distinguish when someone is easing off the speed or slamming on the brakes. How the system works is surprisingly simple.

The bar of lights has three different levels of alert for the drivers behind. When the middle bars glow amber, the car is just slowing. After the braking passes a certain threshold, the outer edges of the bar will glow red in addition to the center amber. And if someone stands on the brakes, the entire bar will flash red. It's a pretty basic idea and could potentially prevent thousands of fender benders yearly.

The system has been in the works for eight years now, but it will finally be shown off at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville starting today.


A light bar like this would have to be added to your vehicle's existing brake lights due to laws and regulations. But with time, who knows? Maybe this system could completely replace the brake lights we currently know. [Physorg]

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Jeff Glucker

@selfhatingotaku: It was allowed on a selection of S600 benzes recently, to test the effectiveness...: