BMW will incorporate a new Brake Force Display on most models from May 2004 - Brake Force Display is a simple yet effective way of communicating to following traffic that the BMW in front is stopping quickly, providing extra advance warning of a potential road hazard ahead.
This should help lessen the need for harsh emergency braking by following drivers who now have extra reaction time. Brake Force Display warning has been fitted to BMW vehicles sold in the United States for some time, and has just gained approval by regulatory bodies in Europe and Australia.
Brake Force Display works by increasing the intensity of the brake lights in the rear lamp clusters by expanding the number of illuminated LEDs under heavy braking.
The extra lighting is triggered after the anti-lock brake sensors detect a rate of deceleration in excess of 5 m/second. As an example of the force of the braking, at 5 m/second, a briefcase placed on a car seat would accelerate off the seat onto the floor.
The system reacts within a few tenths of a second to increase the intensity of the stoplight illumination, projecting a highly visible warning beacon to following traffic.
Only deceleration forces trigger Brake Force Display, not simply pedal pressure, in order to avoid unnecessary illumination.
BMW hopes the adoption of Brake Force Display will lead to a reduction in avoidable rear-end. BMW 5 Series, X3 and 6 Series Coupe and Convertible will be fitted with Brake Force Display technology from March production, whilst the 3 Series, X5 and Z4 Roadster will include the feature from April production.