A new study by the UK’s Transport Research Laboratory (TRL), which considered the scenario of traditional cars and AVs coexisting, has revealed that 22% of collisions could be avoided if one of the vehicles was replaced by a Level 4 AV.
The study also revealed that in a coexisting environment there will also be a reduction in collisions at junctions (10%), collisions involving vulnerable road users (10%) and single vehicle run off road collisions (12%). The report states that by 2040, up to 650 fatal and serious injury collisions could be prevented annually due to the introduction of AVs. This is based on between 8% and 19% of the total car fleet being autonomous.
The study developed and applied a methodology that can be used to investigate the potential effect of the introduction of AVs on the future collision scene. This methodology was applied to a limited scope of collisions, such as one- and two-vehicle collisions involving at least one car that resulted in a fatal or serious injury.
Richard Cuerden, director of the TRL Academy, commented, “Our analysis suggests the introduction of AVs to our roads is likely to bring the biggest change in road safety since the introduction of the seatbelt. However, more data is needed to build a more in-depth and robust view of future collisions and opportunities for improving occupant protection.
“While individual companies are collecting data relating to the performance of their technology in collisions and near misses, what we need is for OEMs and technology providers to come together to help develop an aggregate data set to provide a better picture of uptake of AVs within the vehicle fleet and collision rates of automated vehicles.”
“It is also essential to ensure the right high-tech expertise is in place to investigate collisions that involve automated vehicle technologies so that lessons can be learnt as quickly as possible to determine how improvements can be made in the future.”
To read the full report, click here.