• Ben Morse (bmorse)
  • Joel Feinstein (jnfeinst)
  • Austin Buchan (abuchan)
  • Theodore Martin (tdmartin)


RageBraker will show drivers how quickly a car is slowing down!
Rear brake lights will change in size and intensity depending on how hard and fast the pedal is pressed.


Of the 6 million car accidents that occur on average each year in the United States, 2.5 million are considered to be rear end collisions.  Many of these accidents are caused by lack of attentiveness and poor driving skills, and upwards of 10% result in long-term injury to the crash victims.  RagerBraker’s pressure-sensitive pedal and lights react to poor driving skills and hold drivers’ attention, helping to mitigate the negative effects caused by bad driving habits.


-Virginia Tech Smart Brake Light (

A team of students at Virginia Tech created a pressure sensitive brake light that uses multiple colors to portray the deceleration of the car.  The lights glow orange for slow braking, red for quick braking, and flashing red for fast braking.  The product is not in production.  RageBraker will differ by using a single color (red) to reduce confusion, as well as being easily installed into any vehicle by the end-user.

-BMW Adaptive Brake Light (

The BMW Adaptive Brake Light is another pressure sensitive system that glows red for normal braking and flashes bright red for fast braking.  RageBraker will differ by providing stages of lighting in addition to normal and fast to enable users to better differentiate between braking conditions.


  • 2 CAN enabled microprocessors
  • 1 Brake Pedal Simulator
  • LED Brake Light (rewired for our use)
  • CAN Network Communication
  • LED logic level control
  • CAN


  • The system must vary the size of the brake light based on the pressure and speed applied to the brake pedal. The system should vary the intensity.
  • The system must not impede normal operation of the car.
  • The system should be easily installable by an end-user.  Depending upon the availability of a CAN bus connection, this may not be possible.
  • The system must be able to operate with load on the CAN bus.


Risks Mitigation

Hall effect sensor ineffective

Use potentiometer

CAN communication not high enough bandwidth/too complicated to interface with

Replace CAN bus with 485 serial line between sensor and controller

Loss of connection between sensor and controller

Timeout fail-safe for brake light


Our midterm prototype:

The sensor mount:

The pedal side view:

The back of the light:

The lit brake light:

The complete system:


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