Having your car get stuck on the side of the road not only sucks, it can also be a very dangerous situation. High closing speeds, inattentive drivers, and poor visibility can all conspire to cause a deadly crash. It's a situation that hazard lights (aka emergency flashers—the button with the red triangle on it that makes all four corner lights flash) are supposed to help prevent.
Hazard lights are better than nothing, but they are far from a guarantee that all drivers on the road will see you. According to Emergency Safety Solutions (ESS), it has signed a contract with Tesla to implement its hazard warning technology to improve the odds. ESS announced the partnership on its website (via Electrek), saying that Tesla will be the first automaker to implement its "H.E.L.P." (Hazard Enhanced Location Protocol) technology.
While that acronym may sound complicated, the H.E.L.P. system is actually quite simple. ESS believes that traditional hazard lights do not flash fast enough to properly get the attention of other drivers, so one element of the system is making the hazard lights flash approximately four times faster (4Hz). The second element of H.E.L.P. is sending out a signal to GPS traffic systems via the HAAS Alert "Safety Cloud" system so that other cars on the road using navigation will be alerted to the stall up ahead.
The two elements seem pretty basic, yet ESS claims the system can drastically increase visibility. ESS references a Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) study that says when hazard lights flash between 4-6Hz other drivers react at least 1,181 feet away from the stalled vehicle. Because Teslas are software-defined vehicles, the H.E.L.P. system will be sent out to vehicles with an OTA update. Tesla owners won't need to take their cars in to get H.E.L.P. and it doesn't require installation of any physical parts. ESS hasn't said how far back H.E.L.P. compatibility will go. To date, Tesla has not publicly announced its partnership with ESS or the H.E.LP. integration, so we'll have to wait to see if they provide any further information.
Emergency Safety Solutions and our partner VOXX Electronics have been recognized as a 2023 Innovation Award Honoree in the In-Vehicle Entertainment & Safety Category for our efforts to bring our breakthrough, life-saving, H.E.L.P.® (Hazard Enhanced Location Protocol) safety feature to market.
This October 12, 2022 Automotive News / AutoNews video story examines how ESS’ H.E.L.P. technology is revolutionizing vehicle hazard warning systems to prevent crashes into disabled and vulnerable vehicles and their occupants.
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