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AAA Study Reveals Major Shortcomings in Vehicle-Pedestrian Detection Systems

October 07, 2019

LOS ANGELES, CA. – According to an online news report from, a new study conducted by AAA reveals some major shortcomings in vehicle-pedestrian detection systems. These systems are designed to sense a person in front of the vehicle and apply the vehicle’s emergency brakes.*

AAA worked with the Automotive Club of Southern California and used its Automotive Research Center in Los Angeles, California, to test real-life scenarios against pedestrian detection technology in the 2019 Chevrolet Malibu, the 2019 Honda Accord, the 2019 Tesla Model 3, and the 2019 Toyota Camry. Researchers tested the following scenarios:

  1. An adult pedestrian walking in front of the vehicle while it was traveling 20 to 30 mph during the day;
  2. An adult pedestrian walking in front of the vehicle while it was traveling 25 mph at night;
  3. A child running out in front of the vehicle from between parked cars while the vehicle was traveling 20 to 30 mph;
  4. An adult pedestrian crossing a roadway while the vehicle was making a right turn onto that road; and 
  5. Two adult pedestrians standing on the side of the road, facing away from the roadway, while the vehicle was traveling at 20 to 30 mph.

Startlingly, none of the vehicles’ systems detected pedestrians at night, and none of the vehicles’ systems were effective in preventing a pedestrian accident during a right turn. In the other scenarios, the systems were also largely ineffective. A collision happened almost 90 percent of the time when a child ran into the road from between parked cars, and a collision happened 80 percent of the time when pedestrians were standing on the side of the road. 

AAA said that while these systems are great in theory, the technology has a long way to go before it truly prevents accidents. 

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Category: Auto Accidents

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