Shimmer™ – Lead Vehicle Braking Alert

Leading Vehicle Braking Notification by Computer Vision

The Problem

Shimmer is designed to be incorporated into vehicles in order to decrease the possibility of rear end accidents. A common traffic scenario involves a leading vehicle (#1), a first trailing vehicle (#2), and a second trailing vehicle (#3). The leading vehicle (#1) applies the brakes and the brake lights are activated. The first trailing vehicle (#2) has line of sight to the brake lights and hopefully applies the brakes. Second trailing vehicle (#3) has line of sight access to the brakes of that first trailing vehicle (#2). In turn, second trailing vehicle (#3) then applies its brakes. This illustrates the underlying problem of lost reaction time because the driver of second trailing vehicle (#3) doesn’t know that the driver of leading vehicle (#1) is braking and isn’t alerted upon brake application.

The Solution

Vehicle 2 has a forward facing camera 42 (preexists in some vehicle lines), CPU, and light indicator 46 (such as a mini LED array in the existing top center brake light module). Leading vehicles are monitored by the camera 42. When leading vehicle (#1) brakes, applying computer vision to the camera input the braking vehicle (#1) is detected. This triggers the light module 46 simultaneous with the braking. In summary, leading vehicle (#1) brakes, the “Shimmer” system of vehicle #2 detects it and visually signals vehicle (#3) in real time, reducing vehicle #2 risk of being rear ended.

Prior Prototype Demo