Engineers at TRW Automotive Holdings (Livonia, MI, USA) are developing a forward-looking pedestrian detection and accident mitigation system that they claim will help prevent injuries to pedestrians.
The intelligent automotive system fuses data from a video camera and radar sensors that are then fed to an electronic stability control (ESC). Once a pedestrian is detected in front of the vehicle by the camera and confirmed by the radar, risk assessment algorithms running in the ECS determine the probability of a collision. A warning is then issued to the driver and a braking maneuver can be automatically initiated with the aim of slowing the vehicle and reducing the severity of the impact.
According to the company, a pedestrian has an 85% chance of death when involved in a motor vehicle collision at 40 mph, a 45% chance of death at 30 mph, and a 5% chance of death at 20 mph.
Active pedestrian detection systems -- which automatically slow the vehicle to reduce the impact speed or even avoid the collision -- can therefore help to significantly improve a pedestrian's chance of survival.
TRW's forward-looking pedestrian collision mitigation system is scheduled for production in 2014.
-- By Dave Wilson, Senior Editor, Vision Systems Design