"...there existed no viable alternative to the operator-initiated prior art brake light for communicating information about the speed of a forward vehicle to the driver of a trailing vehicle until US Patent No. 7,162,369 issued to Thorne in January 2007 titled: SPEED-MONITORING RADAR-ACTIVATED BRAKE LIGHT."
"...Thorne teaches of a radar device for incorporation into a host vehicle that monitors the speed of a forward vehicle and automatically alerts the driver of a trailing vehicle when that forward vehicle decelerates. Because the device operates automatically without dependence on the driver's level of attentiveness or the speed of their reactions, it alerts trailing drivers of the need to brake at least a half-second sooner than any prior art brake light device. At freeway speeds, that gives trailing drivers an extra fifty feet to avoid a collision."




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figure 1

Patent Summary:
"...Fig. 1 shows the preferred embodiment of the invention incorporated into host vehicle 20 positioned on roadway 5. Front radar 22 reflects front radar signal 24 off forward vehicle 10 to ascertain the speed of forward vehicle 10 relative to host vehicle 20."
patent summary: page 1 of 4
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U.S. patents # 7,162,369 # 7,319,932 # 7,774,137