Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New research could lead to a significant decrease in fatal road injuries to pedestrians and cyclists

30.09.2004


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 vehicle’s 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
Further information:
http://www.surrey.ac.uk

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht The TU Ilmenau develops tomorrow’s chip technology today
27.04.2017 | Technische Universität Ilmenau

nachricht Five developments for improved data exploitation
19.04.2017 | Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz GmbH, DFKI

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Bare bones: Making bones transparent

27.04.2017 | Life Sciences

Study offers new theoretical approach to describing non-equilibrium phase transitions

27.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

From volcano's slope, NASA instrument looks sky high and to the future

27.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>