What will be the cars in 2020?
By the end of the 20th century, in the developed countries of the world, traffic accidents reached one of the first places in the list of causes of death. But from the turn of the 1980-1990s, the rampant growth of this real epidemic was able to stop. And not only stop, but also turn back - from now on, despite the constant increase in the number of cars, the number of deaths has been falling. In Germany, for example, the number of cars from 1990 to 2013 increased almost one and a half times (from 38 to 54 million), and the number of deaths decreased almost threefold from 11 to 4 million. Such serious progress was achieved thanks to car manufacturers, as well as governments and public organizations that have contributed a lot to promoting security technologies to the masses. Nevertheless, the problem remains quite serious: more than a million people still die in road accidents every year in the world, and another 50 million get injuries of varying severity.
Plus active security
But in the coming years, this number may decrease dramatically, as passive and especially active security technologies are becoming more advanced. This is not about completely unmanned vehicles, which, however, are already taking to the roads (for now, as an experiment), but about those cars that will go off the assembly line in a couple of years. These cars will be equipped with a large number of different driver assistance systems, as well as many different sensors - from radars to stereo cameras that monitor the space around the car. According to the German Federal Highway Institute (BAST), driver assistance systems could potentially reduce the number of serious accidents with injuries by 70%.
The same opinion is shared by independent reputable institutions that are involved in automotive safety. Starting from 2014, the European Euro NCAP (New Car Assessment Program), when determining the safety rating of a particular model, considers some optional driver assistance systems (automatic emergency braking in front of an obstacle, tracking a lane and recognizing speed limit signs) as advantage - so far a separate item, out of competition. However, starting in 2016, European experts at EuroNCAP, as well as their colleagues from the American NHTSA and Japanese JNCAP, will consider the presence of these (and other) driver assistance systems necessary to obtain a high rating.
“This means that no new car model can count on a five-star rating based on crash test results alone, ” explains Wilfried Mer of Continental's driver assistance systems. - Thus, active safety systems will play an increasing role in the design of the car. Since 2016, automatic braking in front of a pedestrian in various situations, as well as tracking speed limits depending on the days of the week, time of day and weather conditions will be added to the number of mandatory systems to get a good EuroNCAP safety rating. ”
To show good EuroNCAP results in 2018, cars need to get some more security systems. They will have to learn how to detect a pedestrian and brake in front of him in low light, brake in front of cyclists at intersections, prevent the car from being pulled into a ditch and warn the driver about dangerous situations when overtaking. And in 2020, the “approximate behavior” of the car at intersections will also be added to this: automatic braking in front of cars moving in the transverse direction, passing oncoming traffic when turning left, passing cyclists when turning right. In addition, the possibility of adding traffic recognition systems to these points (and automatic braking in the case of a red signal) is now being discussed.
“Having automated driver assistance systems makes cars safer, ” says Wilfried Mer. “But it is also a step towards a very ambitious dream that we at Continental call Vision Zero.” Our ultimate goal, in full accordance with the name of the plan, is the zero number of accidents on the roads. We believe that this is achievable. ”The article “Cars of the Nearest Present” was published in the journal Popular Mechanics (No. 9, September 2015).