Tesla to implement new hazard light system via software update
HomeHome > News > Tesla to implement new hazard light system via software update

Tesla to implement new hazard light system via software update

Sep 21, 2023

A small, four-year-old company in Houston, Texas, has been using a Tesla Model 3 to demonstrate its revolutionary hazard warning system. Now, their system will be in millions of Teslas.

Emergency Safety Solutions, Inc. (ESS), is the creator of HELP, which stands for Hazard Enhanced Location Protocol. The company claims its system significantly improves driver safety. Tesla, which usually develops its systems, and rarely uses external programs, will be the first automaker to implement HELP in its vehicles.

ESS says that every seven minutes, there is a crash involving a disabled vehicle on American roadways. These crashes kill or injure 15,000 people annually. The company also states the main factor in those crashes is an ineffective hazard light system that is not getting the attention of drivers. The hazard light system was created more than 70 years ago and hasn't been improved since.

According to ESS, HELP will: "provide advanced lighting alerts and digital location-based alerts to greatly improve advance warning communications to drivers." Virginia Tech Transportation Institute studied several lighting combinations and found that 4hz to 6Hz flash frequencies greatly improved drivers' attention. The current system is 1.5Hz.

Researchers then took the 5Hz system to the street and found that drivers responded 12 seconds earlier. They also discovered that drivers moved over 360 meters or nearly four football fields away from the disabled car. In addition, drivers moving to the left of a disabled car jumped from 30 percent with the current system to 87 percent with HELP.

The flashing lights will undoubtedly improve safety, but the system also sends a digital signal to alert drivers using in-car or phone navigation that there is a hazard ahead. The early warning will allow drivers to be warned much sooner than just the visual blinking lights system. Additionally, the HELP system can be manually activated or it will automatically turn on if a collision is detected or an airbag is deployed.

Tom Metzger, CEO of ESS, said, "Tesla is a leader in bringing first-time innovation to passenger vehicles and is leading the way by implementing HELP technology on potentially millions of Tesla vehicles worldwide. It's a monumental step in the effort to overcome the troubling safety issue of crashes into disabled and vulnerable vehicles, which tragically injure or kill tens of thousands around the world each year."

Tesla will implement these changes to these existing vehicles through a software update. It's a rare step for Tesla, which usually creates its own systems and improves traditional programs (Tesla recently improved the seatbelt).

This time Tesla found a company that has done everything necessary to improve this aspect of vehicle safety, so why recreate the wheel?

Subscribe to our newsletter to be the first to know about Tesla's upcoming features and new software updates.