According to the World Health Organization, as many as 1.35 million people die every year as a result of car accidents, and more than half of those deaths are either cyclists, motorcyclists, and pedestrians. Given these numbers, it is of utmost concern for car manufacturers to come up with different ways to protect these vulnerable individuals on the road. For this reason, many manufacturers have developed various technologies to help protect pedestrians, here are five of them:
- Automatic Brakes
Almost all of the car manufacturers today declared their commitment to installing emergency braking systems in all vehicles. A good number of them took it a step further by making the technology even smarter. Bosch, for one, developed an automatic brake system that comes with cameras and sensors to determine the presence of pedestrians within a 20-meter radius. Once detected, the vehicle will automatically activate its emergency braking systems. The automatic braking system can significantly reduce the number of pedestrian deaths due to distracted driving. So, if you are planning to invest in a new car, choose one with this feature.
- Car-Infrastructure Communication System
When vehicles can communicate with road equipment and vice-versa, there will be a significant reduction in the number of pedestrian injuries and deaths. One particular car supplier is currently working on a system that features signal transmission between intersection equipment. This communication will enable the vehicle to know if the apparatus detects the presence of a pedestrian. It is like getting a bird’s eye view of the intersection, giving the vehicle an excellent vantage point as it approaches the intersection, especially in busy areas or those that have a high number of jaywalkers. The only downside is that this technology will only work if all government infrastructure undergoes an upgrade.
- Infotainment System
Almost all modern cars now have a touch screen system. While many car buyers have welcomed this technology, it has increased the incidence of distracted driving. According to The Law Offices of Hilda Sibrian, distracted driving is among the most common causes of car crashes.
However, to address this issue, many car manufacturers are using augmented reality to project these infotainment systems onto the windshield. This projection makes it so the dashboard seems like it’s on their windshield, so drivers do not need to take their eyes on the road.
- Enhanced Headlights
When it comes to pedestrian safety, some car manufacturers believe that it all boils down to improving automotive engineering and design. Another overlooked factor that contributes to the increased incidence of car accidents is poor headlight design and performance. Some car engineers have wanted to adopt technological advancements and designs to improve headlight performance. However, government regulations are stopping them.
A good headlight design can increase visibility, which lowers the possibility of car crashes involving pedestrians since so many of these accidents happen at night. A study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety revealed that the majority of cars, even those luxury vehicles, do not have good performing headlights.
- Self-Driving Cars
Many believe that removing the responsibility of driving from humans and giving them to artificial intelligence (AI) systems can help curb the growing numbers of pedestrian deaths. However, this idea is not a silver bullet as these self-driving cars still need a lot of improvement, mainly that it made headlines after a self-driving Uber car got into an accident a few years back. Still, self-driving vehicles can be beneficial when it comes to reducing the incidence of pedestrian accidents.
For several years, technology has proved to be useful when it comes to our safety. In terms of pedestrian safety, they are most welcome.