Euro NCAP announced the introduction of an Autonomous Pedestrian Detection test in order to evaluate how cars equipped with those systems detect and prevent collisions with pedestrians actually perform.
This will put vehicles through three separate scenarios, simulating adults walking and running into the model’s path and children stepping out behind parked cars. To earn a good score, cars featuring the automated systems need to be able to prevent collisions with dummies at speeds of up to 40 km/h (25 mph). Between 40-60 km/h (25-37 mph), the test aims to reduce collision speeds to less than 40 km/h (25 mph), making the impact more “survivable”.
Europe’s road death toll has declined significantly over the past 20 years. Still, in 2014, pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists accounted for 47 percent of the continent’s 26,000 road deaths. It is estimated that for each life lost, there are four permanently disabling injuries, which include damage to the spinal cord or the brain, and eight serious injuries.
More collisions occur when distracted drivers fail to brake or apply the brakes too late or too gently. This is where the AEB (Autonomous Emergency Braking) intervenes and uses its lasers, radars and/or cameras to detect imminent collisions, performing an effective emergency stop or reducing the impact speed as much as possible.
Euro NCAP is improving pedestrian protection since 1997. These tests led to vehicles being designed with more “pedestrian-friendly” front ends. The AEB systems effectiveness began testing back in 2013, but until now it was tested only in car-to-car collisions. Some of the models that were evaluated by the European safety specialists are the Audi Q7, BMW 2-Series, BMW i3, Ford Mondeo, Lexus NX, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, MINI Cooper, Volvo V40 and XC90, Toyota Avensis and the Volkswagen Passat.