Automated driving key to reducing serious road trauma injuries, study shows

October 11, 2017, Monash University

Road trauma in Australia and New Zealand could be significantly reduced by the adoption of rapidly developing technologies that change the way drivers use vehicles, new research completed by the Monash University Accident Research Centre (MUARC) has found.

The "Safety Benefits of Cooperative ITS and Automated Driving" report, published and funded by Austroads, investigated the benefits of key Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS) and automated driving applications.

Austroads Chief Executive, Nick Koukoulas said the "report draws on an in-depth examination of data to understand whether real-world serious injury crashes in Australia and New Zealand could have been prevented if technologies such as forward collision warning, curve speed warning, intersection movement assist, right turn assist, lane keeping assist and auto emergency braking were fitted in all light passenger vehicles."

The report also estimated the potential annual savings to serious injuries Australia and New Zealand-wide. Road trauma is one of the highest ranking public health issues in both countries. Each year, crashes result in almost 1,300 people killed and 35,500 hospitalised in Australia. In New Zealand, 319 people were killed and 12,270 injured in 2015.

"Australia's transport agencies see connected and automated driving as a key component of achieving road safety trauma reductions," Mr Koukoulas said.

MUARC Senior Research Fellow Dr David Logan, a lead member of the study, noted significant benefits projected on the basis of the vehicle safety applications being introduced in all light passenger vehicles.

"The full adoption among the light passenger vehicle fleet of a selection of key automated driving and connected vehicle safety applications has the potential to prevent between 4,100 and 6,500 fatal and serious injury crashes in Australia and 310-485 fatal and serious injury crashes in New Zealand each year," he said.

C-ITS applications were found to have the potential to significantly reduce road crashes and injury consequences. The technology uses wireless communications to alert drivers, intervene in dangerous situations, reduce traffic congestion and increase system efficiency.

According to the report, the full adoption of C-ITS could reduce 35-50 percent of adjacent direction crashes at intersections by warning drivers when there is a high risk of colliding with another vehicle. Another substantial benefit of C-ITS was the ability to warn drivers of a potential collision with an oncoming vehicle. This application was projected to reduce opposing direction crashes by up to 40 percent.

Automated driving applications showed similarly beneficial projections in reducing road trauma, decreasing the studied types by up to 50 percent. These applications take over one or more aspects of control without driver intervention and can be found in many currently available vehicles.

The researchers believe it could take 25 years for the automated driving and C-ITS to fully penetrate the on-road fleet.

"Given the potential significant road trauma benefits, this report underlines the need to continue to invest in supporting physical and digital infrastructure, policy and trials to further understand what our future needs will be," Mr Koukoulas said.

"Austroads' member agencies are currently involved in a range of trials to further explore these issues," he said.

Explore further: Automated safety systems are preventing car crashes

More information: Safety Benefits of Cooperative ITS and Automated Driving in Australia and New Zealand. www.onlinepublications.austroa … .au/items/AP-R551-17

Related Stories

Automated safety systems are preventing car crashes

August 23, 2017

Safety systems to prevent cars from drifting into another lane or that warn drivers of vehicles in their blind spots are beginning to live up to their potential to significantly reduce crashes, according to two studies released ...

Spike in serious road injuries among cyclists

September 11, 2017

The number of Victorian cyclists being admitted to hospital with serious trauma from road crashes has more than doubled in the past nine years, according to a Monash University study.

Coordinated automated road transport

September 22, 2017

A new report by the Joint Research Centre (JRC) explores how connected vehicles and intelligent systems could change transport and the (r)evolution these changes could bring to people's lives.

Recommended for you

Pushing lithium ion batteries to the next performance level

December 13, 2018

Conventional lithium ion batteries, such as those widely used in smartphones and notebooks, have reached performance limits. Materials chemist Freddy Kleitz from the Faculty of Chemistry of the University of Vienna and international ...

Uber filed paperwork for IPO: report

December 8, 2018

Ride-share company Uber quietly filed paperwork this week for its initial public offering, the Wall Street Journal reported late Friday.


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.