EuroRAP and Euro NCAP are calling on the motor industry and the highways sector to work together to ensure that new car technologies can reach their potential to save “thousands of lives”.
In the consultation document, ‘Roads that Cars can Read’, the safety organisations argue that the condition of road signs and markings could be the greatest hurdle in reaping the benefits of new in-car safety technology.
According to the report, new technologies are forecast to save thousands of European lives as they enter universal use. Cameras and sensors are being increasingly used to read the road ahead; helping the vehicle react if drivers are heading into danger. But obscured signs or faded road markings are hard to read whether using the naked eye or an in-car camera.
The report recommends that the roads and motor industries should learn to work together on new designs by focusing on helping drivers with two early technologies offered in new cars: ‘Lane Support’ reads lane markings to work out the position of the vehicle within the lane and steers drifting vehicles back on path, while ‘Speed Alert’ allows drivers to choose warnings when exceeding posted roadside speed limits.
John Dawson, chairman of EuroRAP, says: “Huge sums have been spent developing technology that is revolutionising the safety of our vehicles. Little attention has been given to the quality of basic signing and marking with which drivers currently have to cope.
“We’ve found no country which systematically measures the quality of signing and marking being achieved. A century after the cat’s eye was invented, technology is again driving this rethink of how the road ahead can be read safely. The key lesson is that what is good for humans is good for machines.”
For more information contact David Armstrong on 020 7808 7997.