And by flawed, we mean that the pedestrian detection systems don’t detect the pedestrians
Let us preface this news story by saying that the American Automobile Association is not the NHTSA or an organization recognized for this type of testing but the results are interesting, if not somewhat disturbing. Some aspects of the methodology may be questionable however the cars evaluated in this AI pedestrian detection system test can be purchased by anyone.
Said a cars are a 2019 Chevy Malibu, 2019 Honda Accord, 2019 Tesla Model 3 and 2019 Toyota Camry. Each car was equipped with an integrated pedestrian detection system with have collision mitigation functionality. Again, these are cars we can buy today. In a series of performed tests, the AAA found that the included pedestrian detection systems performed inconsistently, and possibly worse, showed to be ineffective at night.
The tests were as follows (from AAA):
- An adult crossing in front of a vehicle traveling at 20 mph and 30 mph during the day and at 25 mph at night.
- A child darting out from between two parked cars in front of a vehicle traveling at 20 mph and 30 mph.
- A vehicle turning right onto an adjacent road with an adult crossing at the same time.
- Two adults standing along the side of the road with their backs to traffic, with a vehicle approaching at 20 mph and 30 mph.
The results (from AAA):
- When encountering a child darting from between two cars, with the vehicle traveling at 20 mph, a collision occurred 89% of the time.
- Immediately following a right-hand turn, all of the test vehicles collided with the adult pedestrian.
- When approaching two adults standing alongside the road, with the vehicle traveling at 20 mph, a collision occurred 80% of the time.
- In general, the systems were ineffective in all scenarios where the vehicle was traveling at 30 mph.
- At night, none of the systems detected or reacted to the adult pedestrian.
The best scenario, the one where the systems performed as required, were when an adult crossed ahead of a vehicle traveling at 20 mph during the day. Even so, a collision occurred 60% of the time.
While these results are disturbing, some car manufacturers more reliable technology however it seems clear that, at least for the moment, nothing beats out paying attention when driving and being mindful of our surroundings especially at intersections and at night.