Pedestrian deaths have sharply increased over the past decade – in fact, the Governors Highway Safety Association estimates a 35% increase from 2008-2018. In 2009, the U.S. saw 4,109 pedestrian fatalities, and that number jumped to 6,000 in 2017. These facts surprise many, given the increase in technology and safety features within motor vehicles. Many new model cars come equipped with the latest in safety technology like automatic emergency braking (AEB), object detection sensors, blind spot warnings, and adaptive lighting. A new AAA study shows this new technology still has a ways to go.
While the new technology does help reduce overall accidents, the question is whether they are as effective when it comes to avoiding crashes with pedestrians. For example, a car that has AEB with pedestrian detection should spot a pedestrian, issue an alarm to the driver, then brake or slow down if the driver does not react quickly enough. AAA recently conducted testing with four 2019 model cars – Chevrolet Malibu, Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, and Tesla Model 3 – and crash dummies mimicking humans. AAA sought to test the effectiveness of the pedestrian detection systems.
The testing revealed some interesting findings: