We recommend V2X to ease the effect of hard braking

This is our answer to the question we published on LinkedIn: How should we avoid a collision when an emergency braking car causes a line of heavy braking vehicles in front of us?

Published June 1, 2021

Let’s face it: we don’t always have a good response time. Even a good, experienced driver can be tired or distracted. Still, when driving, we are responsible for a 2 ton metal monster with wheels. Thankfully, technologies like driver assistant systems help us in traffic and can help avoid accidents.

In an ideal world, cars would be unbreakable. But, there are two methods that can stop the car automatically and safely during unexpected events. Of course the difference in the experience is huge!

Many cars have Forward Collision Warning systems that uses sensors to assess situations and stop the car if necessary. A radar, a lidar or an ultrasound sensor identifies an object on the road, and alerts the brake system to stop immediately. We may have had a near miss, but the cost was serious whiplash.

Life saved, neck tormented

Communicating vehicles have an application called Emergency Electronic Brake Light (EEBL) that broadcasts a warning to other vehicles in case of a hard braking. The receiving vehicle determines the relevance of the incident and, if applicable, warns the driver to avoid an accident. As the driver has been informed of the expected danger earlier, there is sufficient time to gradually decelerate.

The EEBL application is particularly useful when the driver’s line of sight is obstructed by other vehicles or bad weather conditions. But there’s much more! EEBL is a key factor in reducing traffic congestion and air pollution as well. 

According to scientific calculations, a moderately braking vehicle causes a cascade of braking, and the second vehicle behind it has to slam the brake at its physical limits to keep its distance to the previous vehicle. When EEBL sends brake information, other vehicles can avoid a heavy braking maneuver and traffic flows more easily. This reduces energy loss, brake wear, and eliminates the amount of pollutants released into the air during acceleration.