New research from the North American AAA discovered pedestrian detection autonomous emergency braking systems are unreliable at night.
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Pedestrian detection in autonomous emergency braking systems are inconsistent or "completely ineffective" at night, a new study from the US Automobile Automobile Association (AAA) has found.

The latest Tesla Model 3, Toyota Camry, Chevrolet Malibu, and Honda Accord were put through their paces in a range of scenarios:

  • Approaching an adult at 32km/h and 48km/h
  • When a child darts between two parked cars at 32km/h and 48km/h
  • When someone steps out while a vehicle is turning right into a perpendicular street
  • Approaching two adults on the side of the road at 32km/h and 48km/h
  • Approaching an adult crossing the road at 40km/h at night

In testing, the simulated children were struck 89 per cent of the time, while none of the cars avoided a collision with a pedestrian at 48km/h. None of the cars slowed down, let alone stopped entirely, when turning right either.

At night, the pedestrian detection systems were entirely ineffective – particularly concerning when you consider 75 per cent of North American pedestrian deaths occur after dark.

"Pedestrian fatalities are on the rise, proving how important the safety impact of these systems could be when further developed," said Greg Brannon, director of automotive engineering and industry relations at the AAA.

"But, our research found that current systems are far from perfect and still require an engaged driver behind the wheel."