New research could lead to a significant decrease in fatal road injuries to pedestrians and cyclists
Research carried out by scientists at the University of Surrey could lead to a significant decrease in the number of pedestrians and cyclists killed each year on Europe’s roads. In-car systems have significantly improved safety for drivers and passengers, and the introduction of soft bumpers and pop-up bonnets has lowered the risk of injury to pedestrians and cyclists, but a system of new sensors currently being developed, could potentially lower the fatality rate even further.
Over 6000 pedestrians and cyclists (Vulnerable Road Users – VRUs) are killed annually on EU roads, this is approximately 25% of all road deaths. In the UK 71% of VRU fatalities occurred at impact speeds under 40mph and 85% of fatalities were injured by the front of the vehicle involved. Deploying external airbags at the front of vehicles could reduce these figures significantly, but a sensor system must be developed to ensure correct and safe deployment.
Scientists believe that a system combining new infrared thermal sensing technology with a high resolution radar could be the answer, since the combination distinguishes VRUs through body heat and not body shape. The system would be able to sense walking adults and children as well as wheelchair users and babies in buggies, as it is not reliant on recognising a pre-set ‘human’ shape but the body heat of the individual. This would then enable the radar system to track the subject and deploy a safety system just before impact. Trials have already taken place using a new. advanced ‘crash test dummy’, which not only has the usual physical properties of such dummies, but also has a human-like heat image.
Dr Eddie Moxey leader of the research at the University of Surrey comments: ‘While we have demonstrated that we can design a sensor system capable of detecting and reacting to a collision with a pedestrian, further development of the safety systems is required before such systems become a commercial reality. Automatically applying the vehicles brakes to slow the car down is likely to be best practical approach for the first commercial system. The use of airbags is likely to take a little longer, but at least we have made a start.’
Dr Nicola Christie, a leading researcher on child road traffic safety also based at the University said that ‘ road traffic accidents are a major cause of premature death across Europe. Any secondary safety measures, such as these could minimise the severity of injuries among pedestrian and bicyclist casualties and reduce the burden of injury to the individual and society as a whole’.
Stuart | alfa
More articles from Information Technology:
Drones that drive
27.06.2017 | Massachusetts Institute of Technology, CSAIL
Ahead of the Curve
27.06.2017 | Institute of Science and Technology Austria
The most recent press releases about innovation >>>
Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:
An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.
Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...
Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.
Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...
Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.
As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...
Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.
With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...
Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine
Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...