Eliminating driver error

For years road safety campaigners and tech-savvie drivers have wondered why advances in technology can’t be applied to preventing cars crashing.
The obvious answer over the years was that the process would turn driving into another form of public transport where the driver would simply sit in the car and drive itself.
Recently road trains have been put forward as a way of increasing safety where one vehicle ‘captures’ others behind it and they travel in a convoy at the same speed.
Now scientists and engineers are showing off the next stages of road safety bringing us ever closer to eliminating accidents and the deaths and injuries they cause.
Most accidents are caused by driver error and allowing a computer that ‘sees’ and senses potential problems coupled with an override of the car controls can stop accidents before they happen.
Volvo has tested an auto-braking system which ensures a car stops when another car comes too close. In tests this eliminated all accidents between the cars but relies on all cars having the technology. The system operates by using GPS to plot the changing positions of other vehicles in the vicinity and calculating potential for crashes.
General Motors have developed an ‘intelligent windscreen’ which looks at what the driver misses and informs them accordingly. It has been used in conjunction with GPS to enhance the road features when conditions reduce visibility.
A program already available to US motorists called Urgency Algorithm, uses driver information to predict the seriousness of a crash and informs the emergency services using GPS to identify the location of the vehicle. It uses information such as the speed, braking capability, road conditions and position of the car to advise the emergency services of the potential injuries.
Whilst these technological advances will no doubt save thousands of lives, much of the benefit will depend on all manufacturers adopting the technology.
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About dbda
dbda is a corporate social responsibility consultancy embracing education and safety in the community. We are privileged to work with a large number of blue chip corporate clients, Government organisations, charitable bodies, Institutes and local authorities. We also have a network of schools, professional bodies, associations, universities and partners, with whom we regularly work in collaboration.

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