The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) in the USA conducted tests of systems for preventing collisions with passers-by at night. Half of the test cars failed the test. And as the IIHS notes, it is in the dark that three quarters of pedestrians die.
The institute tested 23 cars of various classes, among which 12 received only the “initial” level of safety, or did not pass certification at all. For the test, a mannequin was used, which the machines either did not “notice” or reacted slowly to its appearance.
It is noted that at the same time different models of the same manufacturer could get different results. For example, the Nissan Pathfinder received an “excellent” rating, while the Altima failed the test. The company says it is currently dealing with the test results. The Toyota Tacoma is not equipped with such a system at all, but the Highlander and Camry passed the test with flying colors.
Volkswagen cars currently only use radars to detect pedestrians, but starting next year they will add a camera to the system. The manufacturer expects to receive an excellent rating for the new models.
More interestingly, eight of the twelve cars that scored poor or unsatisfactory at night scored “progressive” or “excellent” during the day.
Starting next year, the IIHS will require such results at night to earn the car’s top safety rating. And automakers are seeking the same, as in the case of National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) ratings.
The IIHS is paying so much attention to pedestrian detection technology because the number of highway fatalities involving pedestrians is rapidly increasing in the United States. According to federal data, 7,342 pedestrians were killed in traffic accidents in 2021, a 13% increase over 2020 and more than 80% more than in 2009.