With the automotive industry focussed on vehicle safety and the development of autonomous cars, human drivers are now being scrutinised, notably elderly drivers in Japan where the government are planning to impose a requirement that over-65s must drive vehicles which are fitted with automatic emergency braking (AEB).
The Japanese government is also proposing a vehicle ban around schools after a number of accidents where elderly drivers confused the accelerator and brake pedals. Japan requires drivers over the age of 75 to obtain a certificate of competence when they renew their driving licence every three years. The country has an increasingly ageing population, with one in four people over 80 driving daily. The number of driving licences amongst older people in the UK is also rising. Collisions involving elderly motorists accounted for 15% of all road casualties in Japan in 2017 and this number increased in 2018.
This prompts the question as to whether other countries should impose similar regulations.
France, Belgium and some other countries in Europe issue driving licences for life, whereas the UK requires drivers to renew their licence at 70 and every three years after. In Denmark motorists over 80 are only issued a driving licence for a maximum of one year.
AEB is an advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) which uses sensors to detect whether there is an upcoming danger and applies the brakes automatically if the driver doesn't respond in time. Many new vehicles are equipped with this system, although it is often known by other manufacturer-specific names such as Front Assist or City Safe.
A Euro NCAP and Australasian NCAP study from 2015 concluded that AEB reduced rear-end collisions by 38%.
Pedestrian safety is important to us at AB Dynamics which is why we have developed platforms for carrying VRU dummies, and the software to coordinate these with vehicles during track testing, to ensure accuracy and reliability.
Ourplatform is currently being used by OEMs and tier 1 suppliers to test and develop AEB systems. We're always working on upgrades to advance these systems and along with potential new regulations, pedestrian safety continues to improve.
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