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Vehicle automation reduces traffic accidents

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Intelligent networking of vehicles and automated driving should help to make traffic safer. The stowage risk and energy requirements are also falling due to V2X communication. 

The increasing number of passenger cars with driver assistance systems and automated driving functions can help to make traffic on our roads safer. In particular, automated driving functions such as robotic taxis could reduce the number of accidents in their area of use by up to 54 percent. This is the result of a simulation-based potential analysis of the Institute for Motor Vehicles (ika) and the Institute of Roads (isac) of the RWTH Aachen on behalf of the Federal Highway Research Institute (Bast).

As part of the safety assessment, the researchers have five driving functions of the automation levels 3 and 4 (congestion, highway, commuter, universal chauffeur and urban robotic taxi) and three driver assistance packages (FAS packages of traffic jam, highway and commuter chauffeurs ). 

 

 

Fewer accidents in urban environments

Since automated driving functions, in contrast to active safety systems such as the automatic emergency brake, work continuously and are less likely to reach critical situations due to a different distance behavior than human drivers, it is probable that certain accident scenarios will no longer occur as frequently in the future as they do today. explain the researchers. In elaborate simulation calculations and by means of extrapolation logic such effects have been scaled to the entire federal territory.

There has been great potential for accident prevention, especially in urban environments. With a market penetration of urban robotic taxis of 50 percent, the risk of accidents involving personal injury on German roads within localities is expected to decrease by 26 percent, the researchers said. This corresponds to more than 50,000 personal injury accidents.
 

 

 

 

Stowage risk and energy requirements decline

Also in the area of traffic efficiency, in particular congestion avoidance, automated driver assistance systems should have great potential. Because fewer accidents lead to less traffic jams. Depending on the market penetration model, the ika and isac researchers anticipate up to 11 percent less congestion on German motorways. An aid to this can be, for example, electronic brake lights, which warn the driver against the emergency stop of a vehicle ahead, and site warners, as Ford Research & Advanced Engineering has successfully demonstrated in the framework of Europe-wide field studies.

 

In addition, intercommunicating vehicles can warn each other of dangerous traffic situations at an early stage and thereby avoid accidents. This can also support new services that provide valuable information about the current road conditions and emerging dangers in near real-time. 

Automated vehicle communication also makes it possible to increase vehicle capacity on the roads and reduce the constant deceleration and acceleration of vehicles, which would save energy. Researchers at the ika believe that energy requirements on motorways could be reduced by up to eight percent.

 

 

 

Enthusiasm is growing despite safety concerns

Now it is important to convince consumers of the potential for accident prevention and the safety of automated driving. Because despite increasing acceptance and enthusiasm for autonomous driving, many consumers express concerns about the safety of self-driving vehicles. 

As a survey by market researcher Capgemini has shown, the main obstacle that could discourage consumers from buying self-driving cars is the threat of a hacker attack that could compromise the safety of the vehicle (73 percent). 71 percent also see a major hurdle in the fact that autonomous vehicles could react incorrectly in case of sudden incidents. "Car companies need to take into account the expectations and fears of their future customers when they launch autonomous vehicles," says capgemini manager Rainer Mehl.

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