October 17, 2019
Safety and Security

Are Pedestrian Detection Systems Really Ready for Transit?

With the recent reports of high failure rates, agencies must rethink their strategies.

Today’s pedestrians are more distracted than ever and represent 16% of all traffic-related deaths annually, a statistic that has continued to grow since 2010. When pedestrians aren’t paying attention while crossing the street, the results can be disastrous. In New York City alone there is a traffic-related injury or death every two hours. Despite increased investments into expensive pedestrian detection systems, AAA has found that this developing technology is still unreliable when it comes to preventing collisions between vehicles and people.

Pedestrian Detection Systems: Unreliable at Best

The statistics are staggering. According to research conducted by AAA, pedestrian detection systems were hampered by all-but-perfect conditions during several simulations. In situations where more than one person was encountered alongside the road at 20 mph, there was an 80% chance of a collision. When encountering an adult in the road immediately after a right-hand turn, none of the test vehicles were able to avoid impact. More alarming still is when children enter the equation: collisions occurred 89% of the time when a child was encountered at 20 mph.

Even in the best-case scenario of a single adult crossing in front of a vehicle traveling at 20 mph in broad daylight, these systems only avoided a crash about 40% of the time. All detection systems tested struggled in low light scenarios and research showed them to be completely ineffective at detecting an adult crossing in front of a vehicle at night.

Making Turning Safer for Everyone

Relying strictly on an expensive, developing, and ineffective technology to prevent traffic fatalities only beckons tragedy and drivers should never depend solely on a detection system to spot pedestrians or cyclists. Driver and pedestrian awareness is the only reliable, cost-effective way to decrease traffic fatalities. TurnWarning™ from Clever Devices is not a detection system. Instead, our technology heightens pedestrian and driver awareness of vehicle turn events through a series of audio and visual reminders. When the system detects that the bus is turning, an audio announcement and flashing lights alert pedestrians that the bus is turning, cautioning them to remain careful and alert. The system can also be configured to audibly remind drivers to check for the presence of pedestrians while turning. Since many bus-pedestrian accidents occur at intersections when a distracted person walks or rides a bicycle into the side of a bus, TurnWarning™ makes turning safer for everyone.  Finally, should detection technology evolve to be reliable, it can be integrated with TurnWarning™ to trigger the system when a pedestrian is detected, providing a more robust and complete pedestrian safety solution.

Stay Focused on the Road Ahead

Bus-related pedestrian fatalities can be a thing of the past for your agency. Let us tell you more about TurnWarning™.

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