Automatic braking systems are failing cyclists
Automated braking systems spot pedestrians more readily and need new cyclist detecting sensors.
A study conducted by a British university found that while autonomous emergency braking (AEB ) systems could easily spot pedestrians, car manufacturers must introduce uprated sensors to effectively pick-up cyclists.
The final three seconds before a crash
Researchers examined the final three seconds of 302 crashes involving pedestrians and cyclists. The team found that three seconds before impacting with a pedestrian, cars on average were 50 metres away. For cyclists, the distance was 42 metres, though the study did point out that cyclists are often hit by slower moving vehicles. However, the distance to impact wasn’t the issue.
AEB systems need help detecting cyclists
When analysing where the impact took place, the pedestrian accidents all happened within a 20-degree area of the car. Bike riders made contact in an 80-degree cone. From these results, the researchers suggested that automatic braking systems and forward collision warning monitors should be revised to have a much broader field of view, with extended peripheral vision. This should account for a cyclist’s increased speed compared to a walker and give the system more time to react.
Cyclists killed or injured on the rise
Cyclists killed on the road more than doubled from March 2017 to 2018, with 43 losing their lives. Over the previous year, 21 had a fatal accident. The sudden increase is partly blamed on an increasing number of cyclists in metropolitan areas.
Do AEB systems work?
The effectiveness of AEB systems has been confirmed worldwide, with UK insurers reporting an 18% reduction for third-party claims while AEB equipped cars in the US showed a 15% drop in claims and a 26% lowering of personal injury suits. Forecasts suggest that equipping cars with AEB systems could save 1,100 lives and 122,860 casualties from 2015 to 2025 in the UK alone.
Some Australian insurers also recognise Autonomous Emergency Braking systems as a positive factor for insurance premiums, with customers saving up to 15% on their policy.
Cars with AEB
More and more car makers fit AEB systems to their cars as standard. Want to know more? Read about the new safety technologies and driver assists that come with modern cars.
Recently, the Queensland government quashed a proposed law change to make insurance companies prove the car driver wasn’t at fault in an accident with a cyclist.