Connected vehicles 'could have saved dozens of lives'
An expert in connected car technologies believes technology which is already available in some vehicles could prevent road deaths in future.
Sara Tij, a specialist in ADAS (advanced driver-assistance systems) and networked car products at intelligent technology firm Clarion Europe, says the latest technologies directly integrated into vehicles can go a long way towards improving some safety issues.
“In 2017 73 pedestrians and ten cyclists were killed in Greater London and many more seriously injured,” she told BusinessCloud.
“Some of these lives potentially could have been saved using automated methods of detection.
“In cars, camera and radar technologies, along with lidar (laser radar), are already being used to enhance driving experience and have particularly strong potential to improve elements of road safety.
“For example, the automated parking system in the Nissan Leaf makes it notably easier to detect pedestrians, cyclists and those on scooters in blind spots around the car.
“These new technologies also make it possible to control speed as appropriate to the environment, keep vehicles moving in the correct direction, avoid collisions and visualise the area around the car to help with manoeuvres.”
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Of particular concern is the rise in transport methods including electric scooters, electric bicycles, hoverboards and Segways, which often share space with cars and lorries.
Global sales of electric two-wheel scooters, for example, are predicted to increase from 34.4 million in 2016 to 55m in 2024, according to Global Market Insights.
“Consider the streets and pavements of our major cities. These are starting to look like jungles teeming with new contraptions as people turn to different ways of travelling around, such as the electric scooter,” said Tij.
“These offer cost benefits and convenience in traffic congested cities, but are also fuelling questions about whether we need to re-think road safety.
“The roll-out of new technology in vehicles needs to be backed by regulation.”
One of the key initiatives for this is the extension of the European Commission’s list of obligatory components in personal and heavy goods vehicles.
In April 2018, the European Union made the eCall emergency call system compulsory in all new cars sold within the EU.
In addition, cruise control that reads and conforms to speed limit signs and a system that alerts the driver when they accidently stray from their lane are in discussion.
“The EU, governments and car manufacturers need to keep up the momentum on these regulations,” said Tij.
New car technologies are a fundamental part of building smart cities of the future, she says.
“Soon, they will even be able to analyse how tired a driver is as well as their concentration level, alerting or advising them to take a break before continuing their journey,” she said.