Tesla has released the “Dynamic Brake Lights” functionality to several new international markets with Software Update 2020.32.1 that aims to decrease the likelihood of a rear-end collision.
The safety feature will use quickly flashing brake lights when a driver is traveling over 31 MPH or 50 km/h and is forced to slow down forcefully. The flashing lights will indicate to drivers that are trailing the Tesla vehicle that the car is slowing down at an excessive rate, which could catch the attention of others and prevent a rear-end accident from occurring.
The Dynamic Brake Lights function that was rolled out with this specific software update is only available in Model S and Model X vehicles that are operating with at least Hardware 2, according to Teslascope.com. However, the Model 3 also uses the feature where it is available.
The characteristic was released in some European countries in March 2019 but has now expanded to several new areas.
Tesla states in the release notes for the safety characteristic:
“If you are driving over 50 km/h (31 mph) and brake forcefully, the brake lights will now flash quickly to warn other drivers that your car is rapidly slowing down. If your car stops completely, the hazard warning lights will flash until you press the accelerator or manually press the hazard warning lights button to turn them off.”
Ultimately, the flashing lights will likely catch the attention of any driver who is traveling behind a Tesla vehicle that is forced to stop suddenly. The feature could end up saving many drivers from being rear-ended during their travel, which is one of the most violent accidents that one can endure due to the unexpected nature of the event.
According to rothlawyer.com, the most common form of injury in a rear-end collision is whiplash, which is caused by violent and sudden movements of the neck and head. When this occurs, the soft tissue of the neck is damaged, which can lead to chronic neck and back pain.
Flashing lights may catch the attention of some drivers who are distracted by phones or other objects during a drive. The strobing effect that the lights will utilize to grab the attention of others on the road could end up saving lives and will undoubtedly save many drivers tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees and vehicle repair costs.
The functionality will likely not be available in the United States for some time. Government regulations indicate that brake lights are only allowed to glow brighter than taillights to indicate braking. Flashing is currently prohibited, Popular Mechanics said.