Saving Millions of Lives On The Road! (Concept Warning System) by Anjan Cariappa M M
2011 - 2012, Bronze A' Vehicle, Mobility and Transportation Design Award Winner
Why do traffic lights have an orange but automobile brake lights do not? Food for thought!
PACA is a paradigm shift from conventional design language rather than a hardware system. A life threatening flaw in a long existing design is corrected using PACA. All automobiles come only with red brake lights at the rear. This warning system has limitations because the red warning light is displayed only AFTER the driver hits the brakes. Reaction times to this red light by drivers following the braking vehicle is not sufficient thus leading to collisions and a possible pile up especially at higher speeds (Please refer to graph included). PACA-brake displays a prior warning orange blinking light on the third brake light (CHMSL) when the driver in the lead vehicle even considers slowing down his/her vehicle and before s/he actually hits the brakes. This in turn gives precious time for the driver behind to react and thus prevent a collision. The blinking is incorporated in the warning so that persons with Colour Vision Deficiency can read the warning.
Design Challenges
The project literally started as a "Flash of Genius". An "Aha moment!" There was no looking back after that as far as the development was concerned. Financial support for the advancement of the project was and is the main challenge that we face to reach to the right corridors. Apathy from industry and safety bodies to embrace new technology is a constant challenge. Everyone who gets to know about our system is wonder-struck by the simplicity and out of the box idea, but implementation by automakers is the need of the day.
Production Technology
It has to be first considered that PACA-brake is more of a radical design idea than a physical system. It can be built in various configurations to give the same result. In hardware form, it is a micro-controller based system and is designed to be integrated seamlessly into the existing circuitry of an automobile during manufacture or as an aftermarket fitment. The design incorporates dual-color LEDs (Red and Orange) in the CHMSL (Third Brake Light) housing. Thus special tooling and redesign to the existing CHMSL design of the automobile is not required. Wire harnesses, cables and their routing in the car remain unchanged.
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