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14 October 2019

Most pedestrian detection systems ‘hit pedestrians at 30mph’

First publishedon www.ITSInternational.com

In-car automatic emergency braking systems with pedestrian detection mostly fail to avoid hitting pedestrians - and are “completely ineffective at night”, according to new research.

In shocking findings, the American Automobile Association (AAA) revealed that most systems hit a simulated pedestrian target at 30mph. A collision also occurred 89% of the time when a vehicle operating at 20mph encountered a child darting between two cars.

In tests, all vehicles collided with an adult pedestrian immediately following a right hand turn. Meanwhile, a collision occurred 80% of the time when cars travelling at 20mph approached two adults standing alongside the road.

AAA’s report showed that the systems performed best in the scenario of an adult crossing in front of a vehicle travelling at 20mph during the day – although 60% of the time there was still a collision.

AAA’s study, Automatic Emergency Braking With Pedestrian Detection, was conducted on closed surface streets using simulated targets on the grounds of the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana.

The Chevy Malibu, Honda Accord, Tesla Model 3 and Toyota Camry test vehicles were equipped with instrumentation, sensors and cameras to capture vehicle dynamics, position data and visual notifications from the pedestrian detection system.

AAA’s director of automotive engineering and industry relations Greg Brannon says: “The rise in pedestrian deaths is a major concern and automakers are on the right path with the intent of these systems. Our goal with this testing is to identify where the gaps exist to help educate consumers and share these findings with manufacturers to work to improve their functionality.”

AAA recommends that drivers do not rely on pedestrian detection systems to prevent a crash as the technology should only serve as a back-up and not a replacement for an engaged driver.

It also urges drivers to use extra caution when travelling and night and emphasises that pedestrians should stay on pavements and use crosswalks as often as possible.

The AAA - a federation of motor clubs in North America – was working with the Automotive Club of Southern California’s Automotive Research Center in Los Angeles.

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American Automobile Association
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