IIHS report: Mobileye collision avoidance system improves driving behaviour
In a new report, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), a US-based independent organisation dedicated to reducing the losses of traffic accidents, looked at the effects of Mobileye aftermarket crash avoidance systems on road safety. Their conclusion: these systems encourage safer driving habits and give drivers of older vehicles a safety upgrade.
Mobileye offered to install Mobileye aftermarket collision avoidance systems in IIHS employees’ vehicles to conduct an evaluation of the systems’ effects on driver behaviour and of drivers’ experiences with the alerts. Interestingly, the IIHS has offices in a densely populated area (Arlington, VA) and in a rural area (Ruckersville, VA), allowing a comparison between both locations.
The Mobileye collision-avoidance package featured an in-vehicle display and included forward collision warning, urban forward collision warning (which operates at speeds below 20mph), pedestrian collision warning, headway monitoring and warning (which monitors following distance at speeds above 19mph), lane departure warning and a speed limit indicator (which displays the posted speed limit and warns drivers when they exceed it).
The Mobileye device gives alerts combining flashing icons in the display and audible beeps. The threshold for triggering the alerts were fixed and drivers couldn’t disable or customise the alerts to their liking, as is often the case among built-in systems. Mobileye’s system is passive, requiring drivers to take action when receiving an alert, by applying the brake or taking other appropriate action.
Across the study period, IIHS volunteers showed safer driving behaviour. “They used turn signals more often and increased following distances after receiving alerts,” said Ian Reagan, the author of the study.
For drivers at both locations, forward collision warnings, lane departure warnings and headway monitoring warnings per 100 miles decreased significantly, indicating that volunteers had adopted a safer driving style. There was a difference between rural and urban drivers for forward collision alerts as these alerts decreased with 45% among the rural drivers compared to 30% for urban drivers. The opposite was true for lane departure warnings, which went down with 70% for urban drivers and 54% for rural drivers.
In a post-study survey, a majority of volunteers agreed that the Mobileye system helped improve their safety on the road.
“When drivers perceive a system as useful, they’ll be more likely to reap the associated benefits,” said Ian Reagan, the author of the study. “We’ve done prior studies showing that drivers turn off collision warning systems that they find annoying or unnecessary.”