AAA: Certain ADAS Features Still Don't Do Enough For Pedestrians

Oct. 7, 2019

A series of tests by the organization found that cars equipped with automatic braking and pedestrian-detection tech struck dummy pedestrians 60 percent of the time.

Oct. 7, 2019—AAA is out with a new research report on vehicles with emergency braking and pedestrian detection technology. The results indicate that there more improvement are needed before those features adequately secure pedestrian safety.

Using dummy pedestrians on a closed course, AAA found that vehicles with those ADAS (advanced driver-assist systems) controls still struck pedestrians 60 percent of the time in daylight at 20 miles per hour. Child-sized dummy pedestrians fared worse, getting hit at a rate of 89 percent, according to a review of the study by The Verge.

What about at night? 

"Evaluated pedestrian detection systems were ineffective during nighttime conditions," according to AAA's report.

AAA ran tests using a Chevrolet Malibu, a Honda Accord, a Tesla Model 3 and a Toyota Camry.

The report notes that even though new technologies may help alert drivers to pedestrians, vehicles remain deadly. More than 6,000 pedestrians dies in 2017, which accounted for 16 percent of all traffic fatalities, according to AAA. The organization also noted (as one automaker did to The Verge) that ADAS tech is meant to help drivers avoid deadly situations, but they aren't substitutes for driver engagement.

You can see a video of the tests here.