The Ford Motor Company recently tested its experimental “Electronic Brake Light” system, as part of the 4-year Safe Intelligent Mobility - Testfield Germany (simTD) joint industry research project. The technology causes a dashboard light to illuminate in your car, when a vehicle in front of you applies its brakes.

It’s human nature to pay more attention to one’s immediate environment, than to the world that’s “out there.” Unfortunately, this doesn’t always serve us the best when driving – it’s the other traffic in that outside world that we have to be aware of. That’s where the Electronic Brake Light comes in.

When a car using the system applies its brakes, it sends out a wireless signal that is received by other vehicles following behind. Even if those cars are around the corner or blocked by other vehicles, they will still receive the signal. As a result, an indicator illuminates on their dashboard, alerting drivers to take action.

The technology, along with various other car-to-car and car-to-infrastructure systems, was tested last year near Frankfurt using 20 Ford S-MAX automobiles. According to Ford, the trials demonstrated that “the technology could enable drivers following behind to brake earlier and potentially mitigate or avoid a collision.”