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Calls increase for new car safety technologies to be made mandatory

Calls increase for new car safety technologies to be made mandatory
Tristan Honeywill

Australasia’s New Car Assessment Programme (ANCAP) has called for autonomous emergency braking (AEB) to be made mandatory for new cars. Speaking during the UN’s Global Road Safety Week, which is focusing on the urgent need to better protect pedestrians worldwide, the safety organisation said the car safety technology could reduce fatalitles by half.

ANCAP CEO Nicholas Clarke said: “The fast adoption of technologies like AEB could cut deaths and injuries in half by 2020, with pedestrian deaths and injuries substantially reduced as part of this. We’d like to see this life-saving technology become a mandatory requirement for all new vehicles.”

Pedestrians account for 25% of road-related deaths worldwide, with 270,000 people killed each year. A new generation of safety technologies is emerging that assist the driver to reduce collision impact speeds and even prevent some accidents from happening. A growing number of campaigners and consumers are asking governments and manufacturers to fit them as standard.

Autonomous Emergency Braking uses cameras to detect an imminent accident so that the driver can be alerted or the brakes applied. Real-world data suggest that, if fitted to every vehicle, AEB can reduce the overall number of accidents on our roads by up to 27%.

 

Comments

  1. John Lambert

    I’ve seen no real world evidence to show these systems will achieve the gains they claim. With the 80% of responsible drivers, the actions of these drivers will cause a crash where someone dies once in around 45,000 years of driving; a crash where someone is seriously injured once in around 2,500 years of driving; and a crash where someone is injured once in around 350 years of driving. Any system that takes control of the car to prevent crashes must have a crash causation rate of no more than around 10% of these rates. And to accurately determine a crash causation rate vehicles would have to travel 20 – 100 times those distances. That is you’d have to install the system on 70,000 – 350,000 vehicles and monitor them 100%of the time for a year to determine the injury crash causation rate. Nothing like this has ever been attempted.
    To give a scenario – a car is being driven on a two lane two way 100 km/h rural highway. The driver sees a deep pothole ahead and decides to swerve towards oncoming traffic and then back into his lane quite safely. What’s the autonomous safety system (which does not know what the driver is doing) going to do when it suddenly detects a potential collision with a closing speed of 200 km/h?

    • Hi John. Thanks for your comment. The Highway Loss Data Institute in the US does look at the claims that result when things go wrong. They seem to think that some of these systems are working: http://www.iihs.org/externaldata/srdata/docs/sr4705.pdf
      My guess in the scenario that you describe is that the system will first alert the driver of a potential collision but would only brake if the cars were about to crash. Most drivers would already be stepping on the brakes or swerving. It’s an interesting point though – I’ve been told before that a lot of the testing focuses on filtering out these false hazards. I’ll try to find out more about this!

  2. shijin

    Hello ,

    Camera could detect/recognize object ,but how the camera measure distance? very curious.

    • Hi Shi Jin. I’m no camera expert but isn’t it possible to do this with any automatic camera? Autofocus functions essentially do this, I think. There are even iPhone apps that can use the camera to estimate distances with reasonable accuracy. My (uneducated) guess would be that automotive camera systems are specced and programmed to do this even better. AEB systems of course also use lidar and radar as well.

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