Road accidents are a major cause of death in industrial countries. Numerous intelligent transport systems can contribute to a possible solution. Inside the car or truck these include the advanced driver assistance systems. They support drivers to maintain a safe speed and distance, to drive within the lane, to avoid overtaking in critical situations and to safely pass intersections in an increasingly complex driving environment.
Studies on the safety effects of such systems show a high potential. According to eImpact (2020 high scenario) Electronic Stability Control (ESC) is expected to prevent by far the most fatalities and injuries: about 3,000 fatalities (-14%), and about 50,000 injuries (-6%) per year. Speed Alert (with active gas pedal) (-5%), eCall (-4%) and Lane Keeping Support (-3%) also have substantial effects on fatalities. In parallel these applications also have congestion reduction potential as about 15% of all congestion in Europe is due to accidents.
It is clear though, that the full potential will only become reality with large-scale deployment in vehicles. In some cases regulatory action is justified. The Regulation (EC) No 661/2009 of 13 July 2009 on general safety of motor vehicles foresees mandatory fitting of the following safety features:
- Electronic Stability Control Systems on all vehicles (from 1 Nov 2011 for new types of vehicle and 1 Nov 2014 for all new vehicles)
- Advanced Emergency Braking Systems and Lane Departure Warning Systems on heavy-duty vehicles (from 1 Nov 2013 for new types of vehicle and 1 Nov 2015 for all new vehicles)
These measures will reduce fatal casualties in traffic by an estimated 5,000 per year.
An important aspect is the safe use of the systems while driving. The human-machine interface (HMI) is the aggregate of means by which drivers interact with their vehicle or any mobile tools. The European Statement of Principles on human-machine interface for in-vehicle information and communication systems is a European Recommendation. It was issued in 1999 and lastly revised in May 2008 to acknowledge the increasing use of portable devices (so called nomadic devices).
Core systems include Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Intelligent Speed Adaptation (ISA), Collision Avoidance System (CAS), lateral control/support, blind spot detection, side collision avoidance, driver monitoring, Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), route guidance and navigation, vision enhancement, Anti Blocking System (ABS), alcohol interlocks, seat belt reminder and post-crash systems (black box and eCall).