New AAA Study Shows Alarming Failure of Pedestrian Detection Systems of New Cars

Published On :   2019-10-04

Automatic emergency braking systems with pedestrian detection assessed in the study were found to be completely ineffective at night.

According to a new research from the American Automobile Association (AAA), some automatic emergency braking systems with pedestrian detection that help drivers to avoid accidents are completely ineffective in the nighttime and fail to work at times when they are most needed. AAA partnered with the Automotive Research Center of the Automotive Club of Southern California to evaluate the capabilities of pedestrian detection systems. 2019 Toyota Camry, 2019 Tesla Model 3, 2019 Honda Accord, and 2019 Chevy Malibu were the four test vehicles selected for the study. According to AAA, track testing was performed on California’s Auto Club Speedway.

“Pedestrian fatalities are on the rise, which proves how significant these systems’ safety impact could be when developed further. However, our study found that current systems are still in need of an engaged driver behind the wheel and are far from perfect,” said Director of Automotive Engineering and Industry Relations at AAA, Greg Brannon.

Performance of pedestrian systems varied at different vehicle speeds

“The increase in pedestrian deaths is a major concern, and automakers are on the right track with the intent of these systems. Our goal with this testing is identifying where the gaps exist for helping to educate consumers and share these findings with manufacturers to work for improving their functionality,” added Brannon.

According to AAA, simulated pedestrian targets were used to conduct the testing of the effectiveness of automatic emergency braking systems with pedestrian detection. There were different scenarios used in the testing of the systems. One of them involved a simulated adult that crossed in front of a vehicle traveling at 30 mph and 20 mph in the daytime. The systems were observed to avoid a collision 40% of the time when the vehicle traveled at 20 mph in the daytime. However, majority of the systems could not avoid a collision in the case where the vehicle traveled at the higher speed of 30 mph. According to the study, other scenarios were even more difficult for the systems to perform in.

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