Emergency brake light wins young entrepreneur SEMA award

Launch Pad program designed to encourage young entrepreneurs

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Impulse light
Impulse flashes brightly to warn car behind of an emergency stop | FrontLane photo

“When you need to stop quickly, the driver behind you reacts slowly,” it says on the BrakingBar.com website. “Let’s get their attention.”

To do so, Roland Hence developed Impulse, a bright, pulsating and battery-powered emergency brake light designed to reduce rear-end collisions. The light, with eight pulsating light-emitting diodes, reportedly can alert a trailing driver as much as 50 percent sooner that you’re stopping right now!

For his invention for passenger cars, as well as a version for semi-tractor trailers, Hence won the eighth annual SEMA Launch Pad program for young entrepreneurs aged 18-39, the award presented this week during SEMA360. More than 80 new products were entered in the competition.

According to his Linkedin profile, Hence has a degree in science and engineering management from Stanford University and founded FrontLane immediately after graduating in 2014. 

The Impulse light is powered by batteries with a 4-year lifespan and is designed to attach to the inside of a vehicle’s backlight. Motion sensors activate the pulsating under hard braking situations.

The Braking Bar Impulse is priced at $129.

Noting that distracted motorists collide with the rear of a truck or its trailer every 9 minutes, Hence and his FrontLane.com company also produce Tailbone, a heavy-duty version of the emergency light for the trucking industry.

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A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

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