Some flaws with pedestrian avoidance systems

Modern vehicles are clearly being manufactured with safety as the primary feature of advanced development. One of those new technologies is the ability of a vehicle to detect a pedestrian or other foreign object while in motion. The device automatically applies the braking system in attempting to avoid striking the object, whatever it may be. This can be a very valuable capability for any vehicle being driven in Florida because so many people either walk on a regular basis or ride bicycles even as a primary mode of transportation. However, recent statistics and one particular study have revealed a problem.

Study results

Some of the stats compiled by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety were shocking, especially the accident increases from 2010 until 2020. Pedestrian accident deaths were up a surprising 51% since 2009. Personal injury claim numbers were considerably higher as well. The good news was that daytime injury claims were down by 32% with a similar reduction in areas with extensive lighting even when accidents occurred at night.

Exposure of potential flaws in detection systems

The study also revealed one particular flaw in all detection systems following a review of the accident injury claims filed occurring in areas with no lighting during nighttime hours. The data suggested that the equipment across all models does not work well without significant illumination around the vehicle. While some vehicles performed better than others, none were very effective in engaging the automatic braking systems installed on the particular models.

One of the most positive outcomes of these types of studies is that it gives the IIHS a focal point when wanting to influence car manufacturers to upgrade onboard safety equipment. And likewise, it also gives manufacturers a goal when designing new models with more enhanced features, especially with the trend toward self-driving vehicles in the future that still need serious upgrading attention.

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