Autonomous Driving and Collision Avoidance Technology: A revew of current capabilities and functionality for detecting people who walk and bicycle | BikeWalkNC

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by Steven Goodridge, Ph.D.

Will autonomous cars and automatic braking systems live up to their promise to improve public safety? Or will a rush to market flawed technology create greater peril for pedestrians and bicyclists?

When it comes to automated driving and braking systems, one thing is clear: All products are not created equal. Investigation of the state of the art and numerous test results reveals that some technologies do an extraordinary job of avoiding collisions with pedestrians and cyclists, while others are practically blind to them. Some self-driving systems are intended for use only on freeways devoid of pedestrians and bicyclists, yet car owners are activating them on ordinary streets. Bike/ped advocates have a vested interest in promoting effective regulations for such vehicles. For safety advocates to know what regulations to support, it’s useful to understand how the technology works and why some systems fail more than others.