Can an automatic braking system that detects bicycles on the road save lives? Bosch, the manufacturer of the system, seems to think so. Bosch has developed a new automatic braking system that can reportedly bring a car to a full stop in 190 milliseconds. To put that in perspective, that is just longer than the amount of time it takes the average person to blink.
In tests, estimates suggested that if every car in Germany was outfitted with the system, bicycle-automobile collisions could be reduced by as much at 43 percent. In addition to the braking system, Bosch also designed a radar system that alerts drivers that a bicyclist is approaching, and from where. This system alerts drivers of bicyclists at up to 20 meters away.
Similar to the Bosch system, General Motors (GM) has also been installing new automatic emergency braking (AEB) on new models. Their system is based on the success of studies like the one done in Germany. GM initiated their system after the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) found that:
· Crashes dropped by 43%
· Injuries dropped by 64%
· Front-to-rear crashes dropped by 50%
· Front-to-rear crash injuries dropped by 56%
Braking systems that have front crash prevention show the most promise. Data from 23 states shows that automatic braking systems and bicycle detectors may not prevent all crashes, but they certainly seem to be on the right track toward reducing crashes and resulting injuries or deaths.
GM and 20 other automakers have announced that they will be installing AEBs as standard on models manufactured starting in September 2020.