In recent times, having an optimum traffic security program has become one of the benchmarks of gauging a country’s development. With business alliances dissolving continental boundaries, any country that wants to participate in international trade must have a transportation infrastructure that is dependable and safe. And for this very reason, many countries, including the U.S., have been looking for tech solutions targeted at safer automobiles and driving environments.
While the entire world was in lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there were 38,680 deaths caused due to motor vehicle traffic crashes – the largest since 2007. The decrease in gas prices has led to congestion on the road. And when you bring distracted driving, sharing the road with pedestrians and cyclists into this mix, the chances of accidents increase many folds.
The U.S. transportation and traffic authority is researching several vehicle and radar-based warning systems to curb these road accidents. These warning systems combine to form an Advanced Driver Assistance System and alleviate the risk of crashing.
What is a Collision Avoidance System, and how does it work?
Collision Avoidance systems are essentially automated systems that, in theory, help in avoiding crashing. The most primitive but radical one was first deployed in the Cadillac Cyclone. The futuristic design of this car came with radar sensors, which are still in use and have shaped the future of these systems.
The modern version of Collision Avoidance Systems combines the best of three technologies – radar, lasers, and cameras – to alert and assist drivers. There are two different ways in which these systems respond. They offer visual and audible warnings to notify the driver of any potential obstruction. This is achieved through four distinct warning systems:
- FCW or Forward Collision Warning: This warning system alerts the driver whenever it detects a chance of front-to-rear collision. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the implementation of FCW has led to a 27% decrease in front crashes.
- BSW or Blind-spot Warning: Blind spots are a weakness for all drivers as these spots do not fall under a clear line of driver’s visibility. BSW alerts the driver when they cannot clearly see the neighboring lane. IIHS noticed a 14% to 24% decrease in crashes while changing lanes.
- RCTW or Rear Cross-Traffic Warning: This warning system utilizes the cameras on the edge of the car and alerts the driver whenever they detect proximity with any other vehicle or obstacle. It helps avoid collisions while backing out of a parking space or driving reverse.
- LDW or Lane Departure Warning: As the name suggests, this warning system helps navigate the traffic. It alerts the driver if the car tires touch the lane marking. IIHS studies reveal that LDW has helped minimize side crashes by 11%.
Although these alert and warning systems assist drivers in avoiding crashes, the result depends on the driver’s prerogative. That is why some advanced warning systems can override manual driving, apply brakes, or change throttle to dodge collision. These warnings include:
- Adaptive Cruise Control
- Automatic and rear Automatic Emergency Brakes
- Electronic Stability Control
- Parking Assist
Apart from these technologies, several independent studies are underway on automatic emergency steering to reduce accidents caused due to distracted driving. Here are some driving tips for the truckers to ensure their safety that you might want to look upon.
Advanced technologies, when harnessed proactively, can play a vital role in making traffic and driving safer. For example, the fleet industry has already implemented ELDs to enable automatic compliance with DOT’s HoS, reducing driver fatigue and related truck accidents and casualties. Similarly, with government authorities and automobile manufacturers focusing on developing these collision avoidance systems, a future with minimal traffic accidents and safer road travel is no longer fiction or fantasy.