According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates, pedestrian crashes accounted for $112.5 billion in total societal impact in 2019. Since 2019, pedestrian crashes and fatalities have continued to increase. The staggering cost in both economic and human terms could be reduced by the deployment of additional vehicle safety technologies – if those technologies function as intended, and perform just as well at night and in reduced visibility environments.
The Office of Management and Budget, which is the White House office charged with reviewing proposed regulations issued by executive agencies, is currently reviewing a rulemaking from NHTSA that has the potential to substantially reduce pedestrian crashes and fatalities. The rulemaking would establish performance standards for automatic emergency braking (AEB) and pedestrian AEB. If AEB and pedestrian AEB perform as intended, many fatalities and economic damage could be prevented.
On Wednesday, March 29, Lidar Coalition met with the Office of Management and Budget to discuss the pending Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on performance standards for AEB and pedestrian AEB.
The Coalition’s members made the case that including multiple complimentary sensors in AEB and pedestrian AEB is more effective in reducing pedestrian fatalities, which would significantly reduce the economic and human cost when compared to low performing AEB systems. A study in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine found that systems with lidar, camera, and radar have the potential to prevent 98 percent of pedestrian fatalities, far more effective than systems with just one sensor. A review by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety concluded that current pedestrian AEB systems make no difference in terms of pedestrian crash prevention at night, when three-quarters of fatal pedestrian crashes happen.
The economic and social costs of our current approach are far too high and could be significantly reduced through readily available solutions. The Coalition will continue to advocate for effective standards for AEB and pedestrian AEB, with a particular focus on requiring that such standards work at night, and in degraded visual conditions.