In our mobile society, everyone is a pedestrian. With over 253 million cars and trucks on the road, pedestrian fatalities are the rare traffic statistic that is on the rise. In 2013, the last year for which data is available, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recorded 4,735 deaths in the US. In Tennessee, there have been 90 non-motorist traffic fatalities so far; that’s 15 more than in 2014 with two months still left in the year.
New technology from Bosch Industries is aiming to reduce the number of pedestrian fatalities within the next three years. Bosch is a world leader in research and development. According to their website, “Our ambition is to enhance the quality of life with solutions that are both innovative and beneficial. We focus on our core competencies in automotive and industrial technologies as well as in products and services for professional and private use.”
A team at Bosch has been focusing on solving the pedestrian accident problem. In short, the rise in mobile phone usage has created a distraction-filled environment for drivers and pedestrians alike. When the two cross paths, the driver typically has mere seconds to avert disaster by taking action. The system that Bosch is developing would aid avoidance maneuvers by handing control of the vehicle off to the onboard computer.
According to Ubergizmo, a gadget and technology blog, “Bosch’s team that’s building this system says that as long as the driver reacts to a potential collision with a pedestrian just half a second before it happens the system will help reduce the chances of a crash in 60 percent of cases.”
The system uses dual video cameras to monitor the road ahead for pedestrians and traffic. When an obstacle is detected, software in the onboard computer predicts that likely path of the obstruction and steers the vehicle safely to avoid a collision. The trick is that the system doesn’t kick in until the driver takes evasive action. When the software detects sharp changes in velocity and direction, the computer takes over.
The system is designed to supplement the reactions of a driver, not replace them. Bosch hopes to make this system a new safety standard, and is working to deploy it in new vehicles as early as 2018.
This new technology, just around the corner, could drastically reduce the number of pedestrian deaths very soon. Until this system becomes standard, however, you and your family are at risk. If you or someone you know has been injured in a car accident, the experienced car accident attorneys at Rocky McElhaney Law Firm can help fight for your rights. Contact us today for a free consultation at one of our offices in Nashville, Gallatin or Knoxville.