Wikipedia: “A collision avoidance system (CAS), also known as a pre-crash system, forward collision warning system, or collision mitigation system, is an automobile safety system designed to prevent or reduce the severity of a collision. In its basic form, a forward collision warning system monitors a vehicle’s speed, the speed of a vehicle in front of it, and the distance between the vehicles, to provide a warning to the driver if the vehicles get too close so as to avoid a crash. Various technologies and sensors that are used include radar (all-weather) and sometimes laser (LIDAR) and camera (employing image recognition) to detect an imminent crash. GPS sensors can detect fixed dangers such as approaching stop signs through a location database. Pedestrian detection can also be a feature of these types of systems.
Collision avoidance system range from widespread systems mandatory in some countries, such as autonomous emergency braking (AEB) in the EU, agreements between automakers and safety officials to make crash avoidance systems eventually standard, such as in the United States, to research projects including some manufacturer specific devices.”
Safercar.gov: “Automatic emergency braking (AEB) systems detect an impending forward crash with another vehicle in time to avoid or mitigate the crash. These systems first alert the driver to take corrective action to avoid the crash. If the driver’s response is not sufficient to avoid the crash, the AEB system may automatically apply the brakes to assist in preventing or reducing the severity of a crash. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration believes these technologies represent the next wave of potential significant advances in vehicle safety. AEB systems, such as dynamic brake support (DBS) and crash imminent braking (CIB), have the potential not only to save lives but also to reduce moderate and less severe rear-end crashes that are common on our roadways.”
Perhaps the most effective solutions to save lives from underride crashes involve new technologies. Collision Avoidance Systems (CAS) and Automatic Emergency Braking Systems (AEB) when included in new vehicles including big trucks will solve around half of the crashes but many crashes will continue to occur. Voluntary agreements with car makers in the U.S. and regulatory requirements in the E.U. should make them standard equipment on most new cars within a few years. Volvo is making safety technology standard for big rigs and we hope and pray that other manufacturers will follow their lead. These technologies can protect against trucks rear ending cars or prevent lane changing crashes but also can protect truck drivers from fatigue crashes such as single-vehicle drive off-road crashes. Since these systems are never 100% effective at preventing crashes we will still need softened vehicles to allow absorption of crash energy, underride guards, vehicle crash compatibility, and futuristic stiff metal designed vehicles will require softened crash cushioned attachments for vehicle and pedestrian crashes.
Softened nose cone to absorb energy and redirect pedestrians and other vehicles away from the dangerous crash energy. Similar technology could be applied to cars and small trucks.
Tesla has led with some of the best CAS on 100% of their vehicles including pedestrian friendly designs. We hope that they will continue their safety leadership with these new vehicle designs to include pedestrian friendly and crash compatible features until CAS technology can be 100% effective in preventing crashes.