Even the Tesla Model 3 has a problem with pedestrian detection
Pedestrian detection and automatic braking systems are already used in virtually every new car, regardless of the segment to which it belongs. In the United States, this is to be compulsory standard equipment from 2022. It is even better in Europe, because this requirement will appear next year, and in practice every new car presented this year has this system already standard. Unfortunately, as it turns out, the effectiveness of this type of solutions is not the best.
The American Automobile Association (AAA – American Automobile Association) checked four popular car models in the USA – Chevrolet Malibu, Tesle Model 3, Toyota Camry and Honda Accord. The results are poor, and in some respects even tragic. The test on a straight road, at a speed of 32 km / h and with a manikin the size of an adult, ended in a blow in 60% of cases. Only Toyota Camry was able to brake every time.
When the adult was changed to a child-size mannequin, effectiveness dropped dramatically and impact occurred in 89% of the cases. Even worse was when it comes to detecting pedestrians when turning right, in this case each test ended in failure, and as you can see in the video below (0:23), Tesla did not even slow down. They also show similar inefficiency at night. This is not very comforting information.
More and more pedestrians are dying, guilty of SUVs
Test results published by AAA appeared at the time when it turns out that in 2018 in the US 6227 pedestrians died, the most in almost 30 years. According to research, one of the reasons for the growing number of fatalities is the love of large cars and SUVs. Theoretically, they provide better visibility but this does not translate into pedestrian safety. And in the event of an accident, a tall car will cause more serious injuries. With a standard sedan, the impact is usually in the legs, the SUV hits the chest. Over the past 10 years in the United States, pedestrian mortality in road incidents involving SUVs has increased by 81% (source).
This only further emphasizes the importance of pedestrian detection and automatic braking systems for general road safety. Unfortunately, as you can see in the attached video, they do not always fulfill their task. The verge decided to ask the manufacturers of tested cars about the effectiveness of their solutions. In response, Toyota declined to comment and only pointed out that Camry braked in the test on a straight road each time. A representative from General Motors stated that their systems are designed to operate in real road conditions, and research confirms that they reduce the number of collisions caused by hitting the rear by 44%. Honda, however, pointed out that he knows the limitations of his systems and stressed that all manufacturers have problems at night. Tesla did not answer at all.
What about autonomous cars?
On this occasion, it is also worth paying attention to the issue of autonomous cars. Last year, the case of the Uber autonomous car that killed a pedestrian was loud. Looking at the results of the Tesla Model 3 in the above test, it seems that even such an advanced system is not able to cope with the detection of pedestrians. And this means that we are still very far from fully autonomous cars. Nothing protects other road users as effectively as our attention behind the wheel.
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