There is a lot of discussion about Autonomous and driverless vehicles on our roads but less about vehicles equipped with some form of Autonomous feature to prevent real-life car-to-pedestrian road accidents.
Since 2016, Euro NCAP requires a pedestrian detection feature fitted to cars to achieve a 5-star rating. In the new upcoming Global safety regulations, which come into effect in 2022, pedestrian detection will be a mandatory requirement for all new car models being manufactured.
What does this mean? More and more cars on our roads will have systems that detect pedestrian VRU (Vulnerable Road Users) which will determine whether they collide or not. The car will then automatically (after a warning) apply the brakes and prevent the accident from occurring.
Cars are tested against an adult pedestrian and a child pedestrian dummy. The child pedestrian dummy is the same height as my 7-year-old son at 110cm. My son is a sensible boy, as far as any 7-year-old can be but despite the nurture from my wife and I, there will be occasions where he may run out into the road.
If the current technology available on cars today will save him then I am all for it. We have it on our car and I hope never to need it in a real-life situation, but it gives me peace of mind knowing the AEB (Auto Emergency Braking) feature is available and tested and for that, someone else’s son may be grateful.
Why is there less awareness of autonomous features such as Car-to-VRU collision avoidance, which is currently available and proven to save lives than autonomous self-driving cars of the future?