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Flawed Technology Risks Pedestrian Lives

Pedestrian Detection Systems

Car companies across the world have been working towards improving the safety of drivers and any additional car passengers. However, a recent study suggests they are still falling short at protecting the most vulnerable population – the pedestrians that get hit. This new study was conducted on four midsize sedans that utilize the unique pedestrian detection systems. These new pedestrian safety features are supposed to readily detect when the vehicle is close in contact with a nearby human and then slow down accordingly, to avoid a pedestrian accident. What this new study found is that these new pedestrian features do not work efficiently at a time where they are debatable needed most – at night.

New Study on Pedestrian Safety and AI Technology: Findings

One of the key findings from this study was found across all four sedans that were part of the experiment: the Toyota, Tesla, Honda, and Chevy artificial intelligence (AI) systems all failed to notice an adult crossing the front of the car, which was going 25 mph. These results are a bit problematic, keeping in mind that roughly 75 percent of fatal pedestrian accidents take place at night.

Additionally, the AI systems didn’t produce pleasing results when it came to detecting small children. When testers recreated a situation involving kids dashing out from in-between vehicles, the collision rate was 89 percent. What’s interesting was that the cars were allegedly “spotting” the forthcoming children from 30 feet away, yet the 89 percent child pedestrian accident rate is alarmingly high. Those vehicles had been driving at 20 mph and only slowed down to about 17 mph before striking the child-sized dummy. Additionally, tests for crashes during right-hand turns ended with the pedestrian getting hit every time, which is concerning because this is another real-life situation that injures and kills numerous pedestrians each year.

Are AI Systems Saving Lives?

These AI systems are far from perfect and cannot be expected to eliminate all chances of a collision. However, they are built to lower the possibility of serious injury in a pedestrian accident by dropping the car speed before actually making contact with another human. Previous studies have shown that the average pedestrian has an 18 percent chance of severe injury or death when getting hit by a car driving at 20 mph. On the other hand, when a pedestrian is hit by a car driving at 30 mph, their risk jumps up to 47 percent. Furthermore, all four sedans in the experiment had been driving at 30 mph and were considered to be ineffective in saving lives.

Over the past 40 years, the number of deaths of car occupants at the time of the crash has decreased. This decrease in car accident fatalities could most likely be attributed to improved safety features. However, those involved in car accidents who were outside the car have not been so lucky. The pedestrian fatality rate has been increasing every year since 2010, with approximately 6,000 people dying each year. Automakers are making the right steps moving forward with the intent behind these systems, but we still have a long road ahead of us to increase pedestrian safety.

Watch YouTube Video: AAA Pedestrian-detection ADAS Testing. The video below shows that pedestrian detection technology in some vehicles failed to work properly during testing.

Pittsburg Wrongful Death Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, a Pittsburg wrongful death attorney. Dealing with the stress of an auto accident is never easy, and matters are made even more traumatic when the death of a loved one is involved. If you have struggled with the death of a family member and lost them in an accident of negligence, please feel welcome to call me at (925) 428-5220 or (800) 404-5400. My free and friendly advice can be passed on to you and your family at any time that you may need it.

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