Source: Teledyne FLIR announcement
WILSONVILLE, Ore. — Recent testing by IIHS announced February 3rd has again shown the limitations of existing Automatic emergency braking (AEB) systems to detect pedestrians at night, and highlights the need for additional technologies to help prevent collisions.
IIHS found that despite continued improvements in AEB technology, existing systems on passenger vehicles still fail in many common roadway scenarios. The organization wrote: “AEB systems that can detect pedestrians are preventing pedestrian crashes — but only in the daytime or on well-lit roads.”
Going further, IIHS noted in its statement that in unlit areas at nighttime, “there was no difference in the odds of a nighttime pedestrian crash for vehicles with and without the crash avoidance technology.”
Heightening the stakes, the annual Governors Highway Association report found pedestrian deaths in 2020 increased by 21 percent from the previous year. This was the largest annual increase since such data collection began in the mid-1970s. There are numerous factors that have contributed to the rise of pedestrian deaths, but despite ongoing improvement in pedestrian detection and collision avoidance systems, more work must be done.
Thermal Imaging: The Missing Link to Improving AEB at Night
Part of that work includes implementing thermal imaging into future crash avoidance systems, particularly at night where nearly three-fourths of pedestrian deaths occur. Thermal technology already exists within nearly one million vehicles on the road today, as part of the “night vision” system from tier-one supplier Veoneer. However, those systems only serve as a driver’s aide, as they are not part of AEB or other automated collision avoidance systems that can make a marked difference in reducing pedestrian fatalities.
To demonstrate the value of thermal integration within existing AEB technology, Teledyne FLIR went to the American Center for Mobility in Michigan in 2019 to conduct testing of an AEB system developed with VSI Labs. The system combines thermal imaging, visible imaging, and radar (known as RGBT+ radar). Through the testing, Teledyne FLIR found this combination to represent the most effective and affordable mix of sensors available today to greatly improve AEB systems, especially at night and other common conditions including sun glare.
To view the entire announcement, click HERE.