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Euro NCAP talks sensor breakthroughs and passenger safety

Having created the five-star safety rating system, Euro NCAP been the catalyst for significant and sustained advances in automotive safety.

As autonomous vehicles become a reality, and camera and radar systems become more of a standard in new vehicles, Euro NCAP is in pursuit of “Vision Zero”, a future where nobody is killed or seriously injured in traffic accidents.

As a presenter at Image Sensors Auto Americas, Richard Schram, Technical Manager of Euro NCAP recently discussed what sensor breakthroughs that are making the biggest impact on passenger safety and  safety risks around autonomous vehicles.


Your presentation will explain Vision Zero – can you give us some background on what Vision zero is?

Vision Zero was initiated in Sweden and is aiming for a future where nobody is killed or seriously injured in traffic accidents

 What sensor breakthroughs that are making the biggest impact on passenger safety?

At the moment, we see that cameras can bring a cost effective safety improvement as they offer the possibility for implementation of different ADAS functions as AEB, LSS and Traffic Sign Recognition. However, better performing and more robust systems require both camera and radar where by means of sensor fusion, resulting in very reliable and high performing ADAS systems.

What are the key challenges you see for the vision sensor community in developing safer vehicles in the future?

Current camera systems are limited in terms of Field of View and that is exactly what is required to be able to prevent more complicated accident types as crossing and turning scenarios. Also, being able to accurately and robustly reading the roads by identifying different typed of road edges, lines and traffic signs will be a big challenge.

What are the safety risks around autonomous vehicles and what can the industry collectively do to mitigate them?

Probably the biggest safety risk is the consumer over-relying on current Level 2 systems that are marketed as being self-driving. Proper consumer information on the do’s and especially don'ts is crucial. OEMs are promising a lot in terms of automation without telling non-experienced end users on the boundary conditions and restrictions on how to use these systems.

What are you most looking forward to about the conference

For an organization like Euro NCAP it is crucial to know what technology is being developed and what can be expected in next couple of years so that we can develop our rating scheme and protocols accordingly. Making sure that car makers are implementing these systems as standard equipment is crucial towards to achieve the ultimate Vision Zero.

Register Today to hear more from Richard at IS Auto Americas 2017