More safety built into the car through digitization and connected driving: The crash test dummy can look forward to a future with fewer bumps and bashes.
Sep 17, 2015
Can we make driving safer in the face of increasing congestion? Automotive companies and their partners from the IT and telecommunications sector are taking advantage of fast-advancing digitization for accident prevention.
According to figures from the German Federal Statistical Office, about 3,000 people lose their lives on Germany's roads every year. The factors that cause such fatalities are not primarily bad road surfaces, bad weather, or any fault in the vehicles involved. According to the German In-Depth Accident Study (GIDAS) database, human error, which takes a 94% share of the blame for such accidents, is the by far main risk to road safety. No matter how experienced or skillful the driver, a moment's distraction, the smallest difficulty in assessing distance and speed, or even just a slightly restricted field of vision will be enough to pose a threat to safety on the road. To err is human – but it can often end tragically.
Accident-free roads by 2070?
Daimler's accident prevention unit is keenly aware that minimizing the risk of human error on the road has the potential to revolutionize the future of driving. Safety expert at the Daimler and Benz Foundation, Tom Winkle, tells us that their analysis of road accidents definitively shows that the automation of all sorts of driving functions – in the categories of "driver only," "assisted" through to "semi-automated" driving – can contribute to alleviating the consequences of human error. According to their assessment, automated vehicles have the potential to prevent almost 20 percent of accidents by as early as 2030. They claim that achieving a road traffic system entirely free of accidents may be possible in as little as 55 years.
Real-time analysis by Deusche Telekom
T-System's Connected Car unit recognized the potential safety benefits of assisted and automated driving systems at an early stage. The main goal of the unit is accident prevention through the use of information on current hazards and traffic conditions, transmitted to the driver in the vehicle in real time. Drivers can already access data from Deutsche Telekom's Secure Autocloud, which gives them an accurate overview of the current traffic situation. Data collected by cameras, vehicle sensors, HD street maps and other data sources in the vicinity of the car are combined in the cloud, regardless of the make. This will allow the car to actually see more than its driver, turning it into the driver's "seventh sense." The vehicle recognizes possible hazards and helps the driver to avoid them. That's how digitalization and network connections can contribute to safety on the roads.