ROAD SAFETY

The use of technology to achieve zero accident rates

#transport #cars #society

25,500 lives could be saved every year on European roads if all of today's vehicles had the latest safety advances installed.

Road safety.

This information was published in December 2016 by the Mobility and Transport Commission of the European Union and was backed by the Department of Motor Vehicles of the Spanish Goverment, estimating that approximately 57% of accidents could be avoided if all vehicles featured Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS).

Technology applied to cars saves lives and associations, such as the Spanish association Stop Accidents, or the global alliance Stop the Crash have established a goal - to achieve zero accident rates. To do so, they are requesting governments to force manufacturers to install them on new vehicles.

Technology holds a vital place in the different proposals set forth for the preparation of the Strategic Road Safety Plan of the DGT, and the mandatory use of the following devices is demanded:

  • Pedestrian and cyclist detection systems: the brakes will be applied automatically if needed, with the use of a camera and radar.
  • Automatic emergency braking: a radar will calculate the distance and speed of the vehicle in front.
  • Involuntary lane change alert: infrared sensors, camera or lasers detect the road marking line, warning the driver when changing lanes.
  • Rear view camera: shows the space behind the vehicle on the dashboard's display to prevent running over pedestrians.
  • Dead angle monitoring: rear view mirrors do not always show the vehicle driving almost right beside you, in particular, motorbikes and bicycles. This system detects them and warns the driver with a light and beeping sound.
  • Driver fatigue and distraction detection: cameras that record the face and eyes of the driver and warn the driver when his/her attention span is reduced.

Acronyms that save lives.

 SEE FULL INFOGRAPHIC: road safety [PDF]

Drivers are increasingly aware of how technology can increase the levels of safety and they take this into account when purchasing a vehicle. Below is a list of the current most popular technologies:

  • Night vision
  • Automatic braking system
  • Automatic parking system
  • Head Up Display (information displayed on the windscreen)
  • Dead angle detector on the rear-view mirror
  • Semi-autonomous driving

Evidently, technologies can help save lives, but they can also be a problem if the driver is distracted by the GPS or mobile phone. According to the DGT, accidents caused by distraction have increased over the past 10 years and they already represent 24% of the total (2016). The amount of tickets given for these reasons has also increased: over 190,000 tickets per year (2015). Sending a WhatsApp message while driving on the motorway means the driver is travelling 660 metres without watching the road and using mobile phones multiplies the risk of accident by 23. Driving is a full-time task and requires 100% of your attention.

Safe and efficient

Technology is not only taking giant leaps forward in the safety field, but also in another very important aspect, which is sustainability. Transport generates 25% of the CO2 emissions in Europe and Iberdrola is committed to reducing them with its Sustainable Mobility Plan.

Iberdrola electric vehicle at a charging station.Iberdrola electric vehicle at a charging station.

This dynamic and constantly evolving initiative is comprehensive and involves employees, the company, customers and suppliers. It is made up of 23 measures to start electric vehicles, promote the use of bicycles and public transport, optimise the routes of corporate vehicles and boost car sharing and the use of green fleets, among others.