Technologies that Help Keep Pedestrians Safer
These Systems Help Prevent Pedestrian Accidents and Save Lives
Pedestrian accident lawyers proved time and again that most pedestrian accidents are the drivers’ fault. Today, car manufacturers are bent on developing driverless cars. These cars will run on a computer program and will have many cameras and sensors to help the computer program process the environment. Many people believe that this technology will save lives because computers and cameras, unlike people, do not get distracted. But while the geniuses are working on that, let us take a look at a few technologies that exist right now to help keep pedestrians safer.
Pedestrian Detection Systems
Many cars today have alert systems that work with cameras positioned outside the car. These cars have computer boxes that analyze data such as obstacles and the speed of the car. Some are so sophisticated that they will warn you even if the pedestrian is only about to cross the street. This technology helps drivers detect people that their eyes did not see, which is also very critical at night. The system has a night vision capability, so drivers who cannot see clearly at night will get a warning if there are people ahead.
Recently, Ford launched its version of this. They tested the technology on over 800,000 kilometers of road. The technology is functional even if the car is running at 80 kilometers per hour. Once it detects an obstacle that will cause a collision, it will give the driver some cues like shutting down the radio, beeping, and showing red warning signs on the driver’s monitor. The car will stop by itself if the driver fails to act quickly.
Adaptive Cruise Control
This technology works with radars and cameras. They feed information to the car’s computer box or the adaptive cruise control system, and the car decides the car’s optimum speed. The car can also “see” obstacles along the way, and it acts accordingly. For example, a car with this system might detect slow cars or pedestrians far ahead. The car will automatically slow down. This technology is a feature that is perfect for inattentive drivers because the car will act on its own.
Automatic Emergency Braking
Similar to the adaptive cruise control technology, this system uses radars, sensors, and cameras. However, this program is built particularly for emergency scenarios. The car will apply maximum brake force if the computer box thinks that a collision is imminent. In fact, this system will apply full brake force even if the driver stepped on the brake pedal but is not enough to stop or slow down. If you combine this with the first two technologies above, the possibility of you hitting a pedestrian significantly diminishes.
Traficon Pedestrian Detectors
We all know that people still get hit even in crosswalks. Distracted drivers fail to see people crossing the street, or they miss the signboards indicating that they are approaching a pedestrian area. To solve this, a Belgian company, Traficon, developed several technologies that detect the presence of people this detection system goes to a data feed, or a computer box, and the computer box controls the traffic lights.
The standard traffic lights work based on time. This technology, however, works not only on timing but also through what the cameras see. What this means is that the traffic lights will extend the stop/red light if people are still crossing the street. Therefore, cars cannot move forward until the roads are clear of people.
Kapten Plus Pedestrian GPS
Blind people, or those who are visually impaired, are at greater risk of getting hit. They cannot see the traffic lights, and they cannot read road signs. Add to that careless and inattentive drivers, and you get a perfect recipe for a crash.
The solution to this is Kapten Plus. It is a voice-controlled GPS designed for the visually impaired. Now, they have a device that helps them locate their positions in a city. This tool will tell them if they are in an intersection and will give them directions if they are not. In big cities, the company integrated their GPS system with trains and buses to help blind people find transportation.
Also, individuals who have this GPS can use this as a tool to explore the city. If they do not have a place in mind to go to, the device will provide recommendations and help the user to navigate the busy streets of the city safely.
The user can save his favorite locations and just provide a voice command to the device. If he says “home,” the device will locate his position and guide him which streets to take to get home. He can add other favorites such as a bus stop location, his doctor’s office, and much more. The device also has an MP3 player and a built-in radio that the user can play while the GPS is not running, like when he is sitting on a bench.