NEWS One toolkit could reduce crashes by ‘nearly a quarter’

One toolkit could reduce crashes by 'nearly a quarter'

Research shows that advanced driver assistance systems can help save lives. (Getty Images)

Car crashes in the UK could be cut by almost a quarter if manufacturers installed just one kit, a study has shown.

Equipping every car in the country with advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) would reduce nearly 19,000 accidents per year, or 23.8 percent.

The technology detects and avoids pedestrians, warns and corrects you if you deviate from your lane, recognizes traffic signs and detects blind spots.

It also includes automatic emergency braking (AEB), which reduces three of the four most common accidents.

That’s according to research by data analytics company Motion-S and Lero, the Irish Science Foundation Software Research Center at the University of Limerick (UL).

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A screen in a Delphi self-driving car shows the car stopping itself after communicating with a traffic light at an intersection at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on January 5, 2016. According to the company, the company's vehicles can communicate with streets, signs, traffic lights, other vehicles and even pedestrians.REUTERS/Rick Wilkin

Delphi Autopilot shows a car stopping itself after communicating with a traffic light at a Las Vegas intersection. (Reuters)

The researchers found that AEB prevented 28 percent of intersection accidents, 27.7 percent of rear-end collisions and 28.4 percent of pedestrian-related accidents.

The researchers used the UK’s publicly available 2019 Road Safety Report to predict that a full national rollout of the kit would reduce 18,925 accidents a year — a reduction of 23.8 percent.

In May 2018, AAA stated that 92.7% of new cars in the US are equipped with at least one form of ADAS.

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Cars with these features are also gaining popularity in the US and Europe, with Brussels passing a regulation requiring all vehicles registered from 2022 to be equipped with AEB.

Despite their increasing use, until now, the ability of these features to prevent crashes has not been comprehensively studied.

While ADAS could save many lives, the study’s lead author, Leandro Masello, said it would still be limited by severe weather.

Driver POV (point of view) looking at windshield wipers through wet, blurred, partially opaque, partially transparent, speckled windshield of car driving on country road during rain and snow. The headlights of approaching vehicles were hazy and indistinct, just patches of light passing through splashing raindrops. Canon 5D Mark III.

Even advanced technical features can be limited by adverse weather conditions. (Getty Images)

He wrote in the journal Transportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspectives: “A system that brakes suddenly to avoid a crash would perform better in dry weather conditions than in adverse conditions such as heavy rain and ice, which reduce tire traction and may cause the vehicle to spin.

“Similarly, severe weather can impair a sensor’s ability to accurately perceive the environment. For example, a snowstorm may block a camera’s vision system or cover lane boundaries.”

Tesla prides itself on the automation capabilities of its vehicles, but not everyone is happy with the rollout of its Full Self-Driving (FSD) beta software.

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The company, owned by Elon Musk, is facing lawsuits from customers who claim it was misled by claims that fully autonomous driving was imminent.

Tech entrepreneur Dan O’Dowd has spoken out against Tesla’s self-driving software, claiming its deployment was “reckless” and the cars “unsafe”.

His campaign, Project Dawn, includes video demonstrations on its website showing Tesla vehicles fitted with the technology repeatedly hitting child models who stand in the way.

Tesla founder Elon Musk attends the North Sea Offshore 2022 conference in Stavanger, Norway, on August 29, 2022.  NTB/Carina Johansen via Reuters Attention Editors - This image was provided by a third party. Norway is out. There are no commercial or editorial sales in Norway.

Elon Musk’s Tesla is facing a class action lawsuit over its full-fledged self-driving claims. (Reuters)

The company issued a cease and desist letter and described the clips as defaming and misrepresenting Tesla’s ability to make vehicles.

In November, shortly after Musk took over as Twitter CEO, the social media platform banned an ad from the campaign for being “too political.”

In response to the class-action lawsuit, Tesla said its FDS software was designed to be used with drivers who are fully engaged.

The feature “can recognize stop signs and traffic lights and automatically slow your car to a stop with your active supervision,” the company says.

It added that Autopilot “assists with steering within clearly marked lanes and uses traffic-aware cruise control”.

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