Friedrichshafen. ZF Friedrichshafen AG is advancing the development of systems that See, Think and Act to help prevent accidents involving vulnerable road users - the pedestrians, cyclists and other road users who are an increasing percentage of annual road accidents and fatalities.
For example, data from the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) showed double-digit increases in pedestrian fatalities (10%) and for pedal cyclists (13%) in the first nine months of 2015 in the United States compared to the previous year. As part of the response to these types of accidents and an overall increase of nearly 8% in road fatalities during this period, the U.S. Department of Transportation is pressing forward with new guidance to promote the development of automated safety technologies which could decrease the number of crashes.
ZF is well positioned with a suite of technologies that can assist by sensing, analyzing and acting upon potential accidents involving pedestrians and cyclists, most notably with automated braking and steering technologies.
“As shown by the statistics in developed markets, helping protect people outside the vehicle is of great importance,” said Peter Lake, member of the ZF Board of Management and head of Market for the ZF Group. “It is even more critical in developing nations such as China and India where the significant increase of cars and trucks coupled with the population density in urban centers who are walking, cycling or using other forms of transportation leaves people vulnerable to road accidents. This is evidenced by the fact that at least 50 percent of road fatalities are vulnerable road users in these countries.”
ZF was demonstrating its Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) capability with a crossing bicycle test apparatus that emulates the EuroNCAP test protocol for pedal cyclists at the ZF Safety Days in Locke Township (US) and in Trappes (France) in September. With pedestrian AEB already in production on light vehicle applications the company is developing its technology portfolio to meet the new challenges of this test, which requires product upgrades such as a wider field of view camera capable of detecting a cyclist earlier, thus helping the system to react more quickly due to the increased speeds involved compared to pedestrians.
“With an unmatched portfolio of safety and driver assist technologies, ZF is leveraging its expertise in safety electronics and advanced chassis systems to create intelligent mechanical systems that will help lead to enhanced safety for both vehicle occupants and vulnerable road users. This is part of our goal to help bring improved safety to all vehicle classes, markets and transportation systems in which ZF participates,” Lake concluded.