Will self-drive cars mean an end to car accidents?
Vehicle safety experts at Thatcham Research Centre have recently reported a 45 percent drop in insurance claims in cars fitted with auto emergency braking systems – higher than previous studies have noted where drops of 20 percent have been noted.
The system uses radar so that the car’s speed is consistently maintained whilst measuring the distance of the car from the car in front, applying the brakes automatically if the car gets too close to the car in front. The system operates whilst cars are travelling at speeds between 18 mph and 99 mph with a manual gearbox. It also works with an automatic direct shift or dual clutch gearbox when it can bring the car to a complete halt.
Autonomous cruise control maintains a pre-selected speed and distance to the car in front, accelerating and braking to travel within the flow of traffic. The systems ‘front assist’ continually tracks the distance between the car and the traffic ahead and prepares the brake system for action by alerting the driver to any actions necessary by using visual / audible warnings. In situations where the driver fails to react the system then generates sufficient braking force to help avoid a collision, slowing the car so the impact of any collision is minimised.
Personal injury solicitor, Kevin Smith commented:
“These new systems have not yet reached a critical mass amongst road traffic in the UK but it’s already clear to see the impact that they can have on the incidence of road traffic accidents. I regularly deal with clients who have been injured in road traffic accidents. These systems may have helped prevent or reduce the severity of some of these accidents.
“However I’m not sure that technology will ever fully eradicate car accidents. Nonetheless every road accident averted could mean a life saved or a life changing injury avoided.“
Content correct at time of publication