Pedestrian deaths spawn new lifesaving automotive tech

The improvements are driven by innovation — image resolution has increased from 1.2 megapixels on standard cameras to 1.7 megapixels on ZF’s latest, Whydell said.

They’re also driven by new benchmarks set by Europe’s New Car Assessment Program, designed to better protect vulnerable road users. This year, the program introduced two new scenarios to its testing regimen, including one in which a car turns into a simulated pedestrian.

ZF has added a pair of forward-facing, short-range radars to the corners of automated emergency braking systems that complement camera technology and further stretch the field of view to 180 degrees. They will help detect cyclists and scooters in Asia, where vulnerable road users comprise a greater percentage of traffic fatalities.

“That 6,000 number is terrible here,” Whydell said. “But it’s also a reminder that it’s a lot worse elsewhere.”

At Bosch, Stepper has worked to expand the field of view of

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Railroads near full implementation of lifesaving automatic-braking technology

“It’s frustrating always to see where safety recommendations take 50 years to implement. Meanwhile, people are dying,” NTSB board member Jennifer Homendy said. “It is frustrating and heartbreaking. On the other hand, I’m happy where we are today because there will be lives saved in the future.”

The PTC is an automatic braking system designed to take human error out of operating a train. The system automatically applies the brakes if a train is exceeding set speed limits. It can prevent a train from going down the wrong track if a switch is left in the wrong position. And, it can prevent rear-end and head-on collisions by keeping two trains off the same track.

Congress passed legislation mandating the technology after a Metrolink commuter train and a Union Pacific freight train collided head-on at 84 miles per hour, killing 25 people and injuring 135, in Chatsworth, Calif., in 2008.


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