European safety organisation Euro NCAP has introduced autonomous emergency braking (AEB) pedestrian tests, which will check the vehicle’s ability to detect pedestrians and prevent collision.
Euro NCAP secretary general Dr Michiel Van Ratingen said: “These new tests are the first in the world to assess highly automated vehicle features and driver assistance systems from the pedestrian’s perspective.
“Many new cars now offer some form of AEB system that can help prevent car-to-car collisions, but only some are also able to detect pedestrians. By checking the results on Euro NCAP’s website, consumers will be able to verify manufacturers’ safety claims and choose the right AEB option.”
Due to improved protection for drivers and passengers, Europe’s road death toll has significantly come down over the last 20 years. However, in last year alone, around 47% of 26,000 road deaths in Europe were vulnerable road users and for every death, there were about four permanently disabling injuries and eight serious injuries, the organisation stated.
Following independent analysis of real-world crash data in the UK and Germany, it was found that the fitment of autonomous emergency braking systems on passenger cars could prevent one in five fatal pedestrian collisions.
Often collisions occur when drivers either fail to brake, brake too late or brake too gently.
AEB systems use lasers, radar and/or cameras to detect the imminent collision, carry out an emergency stop or reduce the vehicle speed.
Vehicles’ response to pedestrians will be tested under three urban settings, namely adults walking and running into the vehicle’s path and a child stepping out from behind a parked vehicle.
In order to get a good score in the test, vehicles should be able to avoid collisions with specially developed pedestrian dummies at speeds of up to 40km/h.
The tests aim to cut down the collision speed to less than 40km/h, when vehicles reach more challenging speeds between 40km/h and 60km/h (25mph to 37mph).
AEB Pedestrian systems are currently offered on several vehicles, including Audi Q7, BMW 2-Series and BMW i3, Ford Mondeo, Lexus NX, Mercedes C-Class, Mini Cooper, Volvo V40, XC90, Toyota Avensis and VW Passat.
The safety organisation began testing the effectiveness of manufacturers’ AEB systems in avoiding car-to-car collisions in 2013 and in the near future, it intends to extend the assessment of AEB systems for vulnerable road users and cyclists.