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Cars and safety

September 2008

Cars and safety


THE CURRENT SITUATION .............................................................................................. 2 1.1. 1.2. 1.3. A WORLDWIDE PROBLEM ................................................................................................ 2 INDUSTRIALIZED COUNTRIES ........................................................................................... 5 EMERGING COUNTRIES ................................................................................................... 7 THE PREMISES OF AUTOMOTIVE SAFETY ......................................................................... 8 THE DEVELOPMENT OF PASSIVE SAFETY ......................................................................... 8 THE AGE OF ACTIVE SAFETY ............................................................................................ 9 POST-COLLISION ASSISTANCE ....................................................................................... 10 DEVELOPMENT OF INFRASTRUCTURE ............................................................................ 11 INFORMATION AND LEGISLATION ................................................................................... 12 RISK BY AGE GROUP ..................................................................................................... 13 BALANCING SAFETY AGAINST THE ENVIRONMENT .......................................................... 14 ACCEPTANCE OF DRIVING ASSISTANCE AND SAFETY TECHNOLOGIES ............................ 15 ABS AND ESP ............................................................................................................. 16 PEDESTRIAN IMPACT ..................................................................................................... 16 BRAKING ASSISTANCE SYSTEM ..................................................................................... 16 AUTOMATIC BRAKING .................................................................................................... 16 DAYTIME RUNNING LIGHT .............................................................................................. 17 EMERGENCY CALLS ...................................................................................................... 17 TIRE PRESSURE MONITORING ....................................................................................... 17 ON-BOARD BREATHALYZER ........................................................................................... 18 ACTIVE SAFETY ............................................................................................................. 19 PASSIVE SAFETY ........................................................................................................... 22 DRIVING ASSISTANCE FOR LOW SPEEDS ....................................................................... 25 DRIVING ASSISTANCE FOR MEDIUM AND HIGH SPEEDS .................................................. 25 IMPROVING VISIBILITY ................................................................................................... 26 GREATER PEDESTRIAN PROTECTION ............................................................................. 27


DEVELOPMENTS IN VEHICLE SAFETY SYSTEMS...................................................... 8 2.1. 2.2. 2.3. 2.4.


CHALLENGES TO OVERCOME ..................................................................................... 11 3.1. 3.2. 3.3. 3.4. 3.5.


REGULATIONS TO COME .............................................................................................. 16 4.1. 4.2. 4.3. 4.4. 4.5. 4.6. 4.7. 4.8.


KEY EMERGING TRENDS .............................................................................................. 19 5.1. 5.2.


VALEO SOLUTIONS ........................................................................................................ 25 6.1. 6.2. 6.3. 6.4.


CONCLUSION ................................................................................................................... 29

1. The current situation

The dictionary describes an accident as an unexpected and undesirable event. Accidents are not unavoidable, however, and this applies to traffic accidents too. There are many ways to reduce accidents: regulations, road infrastructure, human behavior and, of course, vehicle design.

1.1. A worldwide problem

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), road accidents kill more than 1.2 million people every year, representing 2.1% of all deaths, and cause 50 million injuries. The WHO expects these figures to rise by around 65% over the next 20 years unless further preventative action is taken. Between 1990 and 2020, road accidents are predicted to rise from ninth to third place among the principal causes of death and ill health. DALY* ranking of the 10 principal causes of the global burden of disease
Posit ion 1 2 3 4 5 6 1990 Disease or injury Lower respiratory tract infections Diarrhea-related illnesses Perinatal conditions Major unipolar depression Ischemic cardiopathy Cerebrovascular diseases Posit ion 1 2 3 4 5 6 2020 Disease or injury Ischemic cardiopathy Major unipolar depression Traffic accidents Cerebrovascular diseases Chronic obstructive bronchopneumopathy Lower respiratory tract infections

7 Tuberculosis 7 Tuberculosis 8 Measles 8 War 9 Traffic accidents 9 Diarrhea-related illnesses 10 Congenital disorders 10 HIV *DALY: Disability Adjusted Life Years. An assessment of ill health that takes into account the number of years lost due to premature death and the loss of health resulting from a disability.

90% of fatal deaths on the road take place in developing countries. This is particularly worrying as, unlike in rich countries, the level is constantly rising. A study carried out by the World Bank in 2003 predicted a fall of 27% in traffic fatalities in high-income countries, and an increase of 83% in low- or medium-income countries.
Predicted traffic fatalities by region (1) Number of countries 46 31 15 7 9 13 121 35 156 Deaths (in thousands) 2000 Sub-Saharan Africa South America & Caribbean East Asia & Pacific South Asia Eastern Europe & Central Asia Middle East & North Africa Sub-total High-income countries TOTAL 80 122 188 135 32 56 613 110 723 2020 144 380 337 330 38 94 1124 80 1204 80% 48% 79% 144% 19% 68% 83% -27% 67% Change (%) 20002020 Deaths per million inhabitants 2000 123 261 109 102 190 192 133 118 130 2020 149 310 168 189 212 223 190 78 174


(1) Results are stated according to regions defined by the World Bank.

We should note that statistics on accidents are sometimes empirical or erratically recorded. For example, Brazil only takes into account accidents in major cities, while Mexico records only those occurring on main roads. In fact, just 75 countries publish annual data on road accidents. The economic cost of road accidents and resulting injuries is estimated at $518 billion. 2

The World Banks 2005 World Development Indicators, below, provide a visual summary. By distorting the countries, these maps clearly show the contradiction between the number of accidents and the number of cars per inhabitant. The number of road deaths also varies for different age groups: among men, most deaths occur among 15-29 year olds in highincome countries (28.8% of deaths in this age group) and among the over-60s in other countries (53.3%).

South America and the Middle East have some of the highest rates of road deaths per million inhabitants. Among the countries covered by the study, the Dominican Republic was at the top of the table (411), followed by Uruguay (349), Malaysia (307), Thailand (280), South Africa (265), Brazil (256), Colombia (242), Kuwait (237) and Venezuela (231).

Number of traffic fatalities per million inhabitants and per million vehicles (2006 data or the latest available)

The population's motorization rate also reveals wide discrepancies between developing countries. Per million vehicles, Russia is the clear leader among the countries analyzed above by the OECD, followed by Turkey, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland and Greece. For the most part, the mortality rate is the highest for occupants of cars, motorcycles and mopeds. In some countries with very dense populations pedestrians account for the greatest number of deaths, however. Hong Kong, Korea and Sri Lanka, for example, have 67%, 48% and 45% of the total. Some cities also have high death rates among pedestrians, for example Delhi (India) and Colombo (Sri Lanka). According to a survey commissioned by the G8, it is estimated that road accidents in lowand medium-income countries represent a cost of $64.5 billion. The survey also found that deaths were mainly among men, and this has an immediate effect on the standard of living of their families. Sources: Global report on the prevention of injuries caused by road accidents Commission for Global Road Safety: Make Roads Safe World Report on road traffic injury prevention, 2004 World Health Organization (WHO) World Bank report on fatal road accidents and economic growth World Health Organization (WHO) Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) Murray CJL, Lopez AD, eds. The global burden of disease: a comprehensive assessment of mortality and disability from diseases, injuries, and risk factors in 1990 and projected to 2020. Boston, MA, Harvard School of Public Health, 1996. Kopits E, Cropper M. Traffic fatalities and economic growth. Washington, DC, The World Bank, 2003 (Policy Research Working Paper No. 3035)

1.2. Industrialized countries

Of all industrialized countries, the United States stands out for having the highest rate of traffic fatalities, despite very strict speed limits: nearly 150 per million inhabitants, compared to less than 100 elsewhere. It should also be noted that, unlike the other countries mentioned, its level of fatalities is barely falling at all. The main finding was the high accident rate in rural areas, where 57% of accidents occur, despite these areas accounting for just 21% of the total population. Because of the great distances between cities, Americans take long journeys, traveling on average more than 22,000km every year, which also leads to higher speeds than on local drives. Rural accidents therefore tend to be more serious: 80% of vehicles involved in an accident in rural areas are written off, compared to 67% in urban areas. The main causes of traffic The wearing of seatbelts in traffic fatalities in the US in 2006 fatalities are loss of control (%) of the vehicle, and alcohol With Without Not Total consumption. These are seatbelt seatbelt known compounded by a Rural Not ejected 55 38 7 100 phenomenon specific to the areas Ejected 9 87 5 100 US: just 84% of occupants Not known 9 33 58 100 wear seatbelts in urban Total 41 53 6 100 areas and 78% in rural Urban Not ejected 53 37 10 100 areas. 51% of people killed areas Ejected 8 83 8 100 in 2006 were not wearing a Not known 15 28 57 100 seatbelt. The US is also Total 43 47 10 100 unlike other countries in that Grand total 41 51 8 100 when small cars (e.g. private cars) and heavy vehicles (SUVs, pick-ups) are involved in the same accident, the passengers of the small cars account for 80% of deaths. Europe, Canada and Australia have achieved the greatest progress in terms of road safety. The first 15 member states of the European Union cut their rate by 44% from 153 fatal accidents per million inhabitants in 1991 to 86 in 2006. The figure is 48% for the 27 current member states. At 61%, the most dramatic progress was achieved by Portugal. This success is due to a plan launched in March 2003, which involved building more than 1,100 km of highways, decreasing the average speed in rural and urban areas by 10% and 6%, 5

respectively, combating alcoholism and providing better protection for pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists. The European statistics are marred by poor results in some countries, especially in Eastern Europe, and by the figures for the 18-25 age group, with the highest and risingmortality rate.

The European Union has set itself the target of cutting the number of road deaths by 50% between 2001 and 2010. At the end of 2006, half the EU countries were on the right track, led by France (down 41%), followed by Luxembourg, Portugal and Belgium, as well as two countries that were already doing well: the Netherlands and Sweden. The latter is in fact leading the way in these efforts. In 1997, its government launched the Vision Zero program, a long-term strategy aimed at gradually improving road safety until it achieves driving practices which kill no-one and injure no-one. The Netherlands has also introduced a program, Sustainable Safety, which is based on principles similar to those of Vision Zero. Japan has the lowest rate of road fatalities per head, largely because of its high urban population: 79%. Old people are the most affected by road accidents; in 2007, over-65s were involved in 47.5% of accidents, although they represent just 20% of the population. Further analysis, however, reveals that these people are mainly involved as pedestrians (49.3%), with just 22.4% in a car, 18.2% on a bicycle and 7.8% on a motorcycle. The study found that 81.3% of cyclists involved in an accident had not adhered to the highway code. Japan has launched a strategy to reduce the number of road deaths by 50% by 2013. Sources: NHTSAs National Center for Statistics and Analysis US Department of Transport Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Japan National Police Agency (NPA) International Automobile Federation (FIA) Eurostat International Road Traffic and Accident Database (IRTAD) CARE (EU road accidents database)

1.3. Emerging countries

Leaving the US aside, with 43,000 traffic fatalities in 2006, China, India, Brazil and Russia were the top four countries in terms of road deaths, largely because of their large populations. Road deaths outside high-income countries
Country China India Brazil Russia Thailand Mexico South Korea Colombia Venezuela Egypt Argentina Year 2002 2002 1995 2006 1994 2000 2001 1998 2000 2000 1997 Number of traffic fatalities 250 007 85 000 38 051 32 000 12 411 10 525 10 496 8 917 5 198 4 717 3 468 Number of deaths per million inhabitants 190 81 256 230 210 118 219 242 231 75 99

1.3.1. China China has by far the largest number of road deaths, accounting for 2.6% of vehicles worldwide, and 21% of traffic fatalities in 2002. This figure is rising, owing to a general lack of interest in safety and to the fact that vehicle numbers are increasing faster than the road network is expanding. Car ownership in China is booming, particularly among the middle classes. The number of cars rose from 6 million in 2000 to 20 million in 2006. In addition, there are 30 million other vehicles, such as mopeds and buses. The country may become the biggest automotive market by 2020. 1.3.2. India Road traffic in India is characterized by a high proportion of motorcycles and mopeds, the overloading of vehicles, such as several people riding on one moped, and a low proportion of people wearing helmets. The roads are in a poor state of repair, and as in other countries, the mortality statistics declared by the police are probably lower than the actual levels. A survey found 85 injured for each road death, whereas the police reported just ten. 1.3.3. Brazil The Brazilian road network is in a very poor state of repair, especially in the north of the country. Risk is aggravated by the high number of heavy vehicles on the roads, and the reckless behavior of drivers. The rate of fatalities per capita has fallen, however. 1.3.4. Russia Russia has high fatality rates per capita, especially in relation to the low number of vehicles (1,172 deaths per million cars compared to less than 150 in most European countries). The principal causes are highway code violations and the disastrous state of the road network. In November 2005, President Vladimir Putin announced the modernization of the highways as a priority. Traffic is expected to increase tenfold by 2020. Mr Putin also demanded that action be taken to protect pedestrians. Sources: World Bank report on fatal road accidents and economic growth World Health Organization (WHO) (OECD) Asian Highway database

2. Developments in vehicle safety systems

2.1. The premises of automotive safety
The car had barely been invented before it became obvious that it needed safety systems. The first were based on common sense: cars were fitted with the same acetylene lighting as carriages, as well as the rudimentary brake block system, but because this system was incompatible with rubber tires, band brakes soon replaced brake blocks, followed by drum brakes; these operated only on the rear wheels. Four-wheel braking was not adopted until around 1910, after an initial attempt to create disc brakes in 1902 for a Lancaster Lanchester 18 hp. With increasing speeds and traffic came new features, which until the Fifties were mainly designed to improve vision: rearview mirror, windshield wipers, dipped headlamps and fog lights (Cadillac, 1938), then indicators (Buick, 1939). In 1944, Volvo launched the first windshield made from laminated glass, to prevent it splintering on impact. The introduction of technologies such as electricity and hydraulics helped improve safety features, such as hydraulic brake control (1921), brake assistance (Renaults servo brake unit in 1923), dualcircuit diagonal braking (Volvo, 1966), windshield wipers with electric motor in 1926, windshield de-icing (Volvo, 1951) and headlamp wiper blades (Saab, 1970). Thanks to John Boyd Dunlop, the wheel was wrapped in a product that is central to comfort and roadworthiness, the pneumatic tire, which was then further developed to improve its grip. Continental contributed the tire tread (1904), Goodyear the run-flat tire with inner chamber (Lifeguard, 1934) and, in 1946, Michelin introduced the radial tire unanimously adopted by the market.

2.2. The development of passive safety

In terms of safety, developments then turned to the protection of vehicle occupants in the case of an accident, commonly known as passive safety. At the beginning of the Fifties, automakers began to carry out frontal crash tests, then vehicle rolling tests. The two-point seatbelt appeared in that decade, followed by a three-point version designed to restrain the chest as well (Volvo, 1956), although several systems had been tried previously, such as the protective straps designed by Gustave-Dsir Lebeau in 1903. The inertia reel was then added to allow passengers greater movement, but also to ensure sufficient restraint in all situations. The system was improved again in 1984 with the pyrotechnic tension system, which reduces slackening of the seatbelt in a collision, then with the gradual restraint system that limits pressure on the collarbone (Renault Megane, 1995). Some high-end models are now fitted with a repetitive seatbelt pre-tensioner, instead of the pyrotechnic system, which tightens the belt when the risk of collision is high and releases it once the risk of collision has passed. The vehicle cabin has been considerably reinforced: the elasticity of the steel originally used barely rose to more than 200 megapascals, whereas today values of 1,000 MPa are common, and the steel used for some central pillars can even reach 1,650 Mpa. The crumple zone that absorbs energy in the case of frontal impact has been developed in order to spread the impact over time and avoid extreme deceleration that the human body cannot withstand. Several other features were introduced to improve passenger protection: the built-in steering column that prevents injury to the driver's ribcage from the steering wheel (Mercedes, 1966), shock-absorbing bumpers (Saab, 1971), the side-impact protection bar in the doors (Saab 99, 1972) and a seat designed to limit the risk of the body sliding beneath the seatbelt (anti-submarining). Volvo introduced the headrest in 1968 to reduce the risk of whiplash, and the system was improved in 1995 by Saab on its 9-5, with an active system that brings the headrest closer to the head in the case of rear impact, while the Lexus LS introduced a motorized system that responds in anticipation of collision. Another order to wearing steering 8 key safety feature is the airbag. It was introduced by General Motors in 1973, in prevent the drivers head hitting the steering wheel, and to protect occupants not seatbelts. In 1986, Audi tested another solution: the Proconten, which moved the wheel away from the drivers head at the moment of impact. The system was

entirely mechanical, consisting of wires fitted to the front of the vehicle, and a series of guides. If the front of the car received an impact, the wires would pull on the steering wheel. This unusual system was not developed further, and was superseded by the effective and relatively easy to fit airbag. After front airbags fitted in the steering wheel and above the glove compartment, other airbags appeared as follows: the side airbag to protect the pelvis (Mercedes E Class, 1996), then the thorax, the curtain airbag (Mercedes E Class, 1999) and the knee airbag (BMW 7 Series, 2001). Several even more specific designs have been sold, such as the anti-submarining airbag on the Renault Megane Coup in 2002 and the twin-chamber airbag for the front passenger in the Lexus IS, in 2006. The passenger airbag can usually be deactivated in order to place a child seat in the front, and the deployment speed of the front airbags is sometimes linked to the longitudinal position of the seats. According to new EU regulations, since October 2005, new vehicles must be designed to offer greater pedestrian protection in the event of an impact. The major consequences have been a more vertical shape of the front end, to reduce knee and femur injuries, as well as a bigger gap between the hood and the top of the engine, in order to lessen the impact of a pedestrians head against the hood in the case of collision. Models such as the Honda Legend and the Citron C6 V6, which cannot incorporate this gap, are equipped with a system that lifts the hood on impact. More pressure has been brought by organizations including governments, automobile associations and insurance companies, urging automakers to improve occupant protection. These include the NCAP (New Car Assessment Program) in the United States, EuroNCap in Europe, ANCAP (Australasian New Car Assessment Program) in Australia and NASVA (National Agency for Automotive Safety & Victim's Aid) in Japan. Their tests on front and side impacts involve higher speeds and harsher conditions than official regulations. Some organizations have introduced measures concerning the securing of infants in seats, and pedestrian collision. The wide media coverage of the results has assured the success of the campaigns and prompted the automakers to take action. A Mercedes C Class, for example, that obtained two stars from the EuroNCAP in 1997 rose to five stars in 2002, and a Honda Accord that received a poor rating for side impact from the NCAP with the 20032004 model was rated good with the 2004 model, which was fitted with side airbags.

2.3. The age of active safety

Active safety, which encompasses all factors that contribute to the prevention of accidents, including good tires, the precise guiding of wheels, and effective suspension and brakes, has made a major leap forward with the introduction of anti-lock braking. This system is better known under its acronym ABS, which stands for Anti-lock Braking System, or Antiblockiersystem in German. The advantage of preventing wheel-locking is that it ensures sufficient grip and, even more importantly, preserves steering capacity so that the vehicle does not veer out of control. The idea of ABS in cars dates back some time. In 1966, the Jensen FF was already fitted with a mechanical system that had been developed for planes, but it was not until 1978 that an effective, reliable system was introduced, on the Mercedes S Class. The modern ABS enjoyed the benefit of mechatronics, allowing it to use speed sensors on the wheels and high-frequency solenoid valves to open and close hydraulic circuits. A number of improvements have been made, concerning the number of sensors and hydraulic circuits operated, the speed of regulation and ease of installation in the vehicle. The stability control system is a variation of ABS, whose generic name is ESC (Electronic Stability Control), but it is better known as ESP (Electronic Stability Program), the name given it by its inventor. Its purpose is to help steer the car where the driver wants to go, if the tires start to lose their grip on the road. It works using yaw rate control (yaw is the force of rotation around the vertical axis running through the vehicles center of gravity) which corrects over- or under-steering by selectively operating the brakes on one or more wheels. ESC was first used in 1995, again on the Mercedes S Class. In addition to the sensors already in place for ABS, ESC measures the angle of rotation of the steering wheel, lateral acceleration, and the yawing moment. Some programs now supplement it with features such as hill start assistance, and systems that limit trailer sway and prevent trailers rolling over. Some systems can be delayed or disabled for sportier driving. Finally, today's braking systems are often equipped with emergency braking assistance. 9

The tires are the only parts of the vehicle in contact with the ground. They contribute to active safety by guaranteeing grip in all conditions, dry and wet, on gravel or snow. The performance of the tire tread, made from vulcanized rubber, is nonetheless dependent on temperature. The M&S (Mud & Snow) tire for winter conditions appeared in 1972 (Continental). It uses rubber suited to low temperatures, and its tread is made up of strips to ensure better grip on snowy or icy surfaces. Punctures can also be a safety issue. There is no cure for the problem, but tires with strong side walls offer a partial solution. As early as 1934, Goodyear launched its Lifeguard concept with air chamber, and in 1983 Continental presented its CTS (ContiTyreSystem), without an inner chamber. Finally, in 2006 Bridgestone supplied a ring system to support the tread of large-size tires, on the Toyota RAV4 D-4D 180. Lighting is undergoing a major revolution. After the arrival of the H1 halogen bulb, then of Valeos first complex shape headlamp on the Citron XM in 1989, the first Xenon discharge lamp appeared in 1991 on the BMW 7 Series. This technology delivers a quality close to daylight, with lower electricity consumption and a lifetime equal to that of the car. The cost of Xenon lamps is limiting take-up, however. The new LED (light emitting diode) technology will probably not encounter this problem in the future. LEDs first appeared on the third stop lamp, then on the daytime running lights in 2003 (Audi A8 W12 6.0 Quattro), the front indicators in 2006 (Porsche 911 turbo) and dipped headlamps in 2007 (Audi R8). Since May 2008, the Audi R8 has featured all-LED exterior lighting, including the headlamps. Some headlamps are adjustable. In 1918, manually operated directional headlamps were fitted on the Cadillac Type 57, then in 1967, with an automatic system, on the Citron DS. In 2003, Valeo supplied fixed headlamps directed to the side for the Porsche Cayenne. This feature is governed by the angle of rotation of the steering wheel for lighting on bends at low speeds, for example in urban or mountainous conditions. Dipped headlamps with directional lighting of up to 15 at high speeds have become available this year in Japan, on a Toyota Harrier. In 2005, BMW resolved the problem of dazzling oncoming drivers by offering automatic switching between high and low beams, and since 2006, the Mercedes E Class has had several types of beam. In 1999 Cadillac launched Night Visionan infrared vision system that increases the range of night visionbut take-up remains limited. The system projects a black and white image on a screen. Short- and long-range sensors have recently appeared on cars to make driving safer. In 2004, Citron equipped its C4 with an unintentional lane departure warning system developed with Valeo. The following year, the French supplier equipped the Infiniti FX and M45 with its camera-based LaneVue lane departure warning system. In 2006, the Lexus LS460 extended this system to the steering (the LKA system), and also has an infrared camera that monitors the drivers concentration. In 1999, long-range radar enabled the Mercedes S and SL Classes to monitor the distance from the vehicle in front, a system initially used by the cruise control. Since 2006, a similar radar has provided the first automatic braking system on the Honda Legend, reducing vehicle speed when collision is considered unavoidable.

2.4. Post-collision assistance

Safety has also developed in the field of post-accident assistance. In 1996, Cadillac launched its On-Star system, which includes the automatic notification of airbag deployment. The system alerts a call center, specifying the exact location of the accident to ensure the fastest possible intervention of the emergency services. Source:


3. Challenges to overcome
3.1. Development of infrastructure
According to research carried out in industrialized countries, fewer accidents occur on highways than on other roads. Per passenger kilometer, highways are four times safer than country roads and six times safer than roads in built-up areas. It is therefore desirable to extend the highway network. The upkeep of a vast network, however, is more complicated, and has become a serious problem in North America, where tunnels, bridges and carriageways are poorly maintained. The latest significant example is the bridge that collapsed on 1 August 2007, plunging over 50 vehicles into the Mississippi river. In Pennsylvania and Massachusetts, over 55% of bridges are reckoned to be unsound or ageing. A large number of complaints are recorded in Europe about crash barriers that have only one rail at mid-height and none at ground level. Motorcycling organizations report that the supports become lethally sharp in the event of a fall. Guardrails are gradually being placed over the supports, but highway management companies are also beginning to replace central crash barriers with concrete walls for economic reasonsconcrete barriers do not need replacing after a crash. Their impact resistance increases the severity of the collision, however, causing greater damage to vehicles and injury to their occupants. Several states, especially in the US, have created websites on which road users can report problems they have encountered. Entitled "Report a Road Problem", these sites represent an effective information network, warning of broken traffic lights, for example, defective carriageways, and missing road signs. In Germany, the ADAC launched a EuroRAP (European Road Assessment Program) program in 2004 to assess road safety. Two specially equipped vehicles measure the quality of the carriageway. After analyzing 1,200 kilometers of road, the program delivered a league table, and EuroRAP has since been used in six other European countries. Safety can also be increased by replacing crossroads with roundabouts, building bridges instead of level crossings, adding road signs to prevent wrong-way traffic etc. Emerging countries face a very different set of challenges, since their priority is building up their infrastructure to cope with the surge in the number of road users. China is naturally the most active country, having built over 32,000 km of highway in ten years. In fact, the Chinese highway network is currently the largest in the world, after that of the United States. This new means of transport has unfortunately increased the number of accidents linked to a lack of "road safety awareness" of many new drivers. The road network should be designed in the light of the heterogeneous nature of transport available: trucks, cars, coaches, motorcycles, mopeds, bicycles, horses and pedestrians all jostle for space on the road! In India, for example, most people use motorized two-wheeled vehicles, which increased tenfold between 1985 and 2002, but have no special lanes. Often, however, it is pedestrians who fall victim to motorized traffic. Infrastructure should therefore be adapted to their needs and behavior, with sidewalks, pedestrian crossings, bridges and tunnels. In Brazil, Mexico, Sri Lanka and Uganda, pedestrians apparently prefer to cross a dangerous road than to take a detour over a bridge. Sources: Scurit routire (France) Observatoire National Interministriel de la Scurit Routire (France) European Road Safety Observatory CARE (EU road accidents database) International Road Traffic and Accident Database (IRTAD) Department of Transportation (US)


3.2. Information and legislation

According to LAB, the laboratory of accidentology, biomechanics and behavioral studies, 80% of road accidents are caused Inaccurate perception of danger 30% by human error. Raising road safety Incorrect response to danger 20% awareness is therefore a top priority, and Poor judgment 20% many countries, especially in Europe, have Imprecise interpretation 20% implemented progressive educational Total failure 10% programs that start at school. Depending on the age of the children, the content covers a wide range of situations, ranging from the behavior of pedestrians to driving a car, via cycling and motorcycling. Human errors leading to an accident For drivers, several countries offer preparatory training to future motorists, which consists of one or two years of driving with a tutor, usually a parent. In Australia, this kind of training, which is called L17, allows young people to start learning to drive at the age of 16 and to pass their driving test at 17 if they have driven over 3,000 kms. According to one study, drivers who have taken L17 have 15% fewer accidents in their first 10,000 kms than those taught in the traditional way, and they have committed half as many offences. 25% of young Australians now choose the L17. A similar program exists in France, where young people taught using this method take their test an average of 1.3 times, compared to 1.7 times for other drivers. In Australia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, drivers are awarded a definitive license that is conditional on their behavior for the first years. Young motorists may, for example, have to drive with a limited number of passengers, for example, or a lower level of alcohol or lower speed limit, or with a restriction of night driving. Once the driving license has been granted, however, there is no compulsory continuous training. Motorists receive information via the media and information campaigns: changes to the speed limit or alcohol limit, new road signs, reevaluation etc. Current campaigns tend to be hard-hitting, but are often controversial. Most research reveals a correlation between the fear created and the convincing nature of the message. These campaigns are particularly effective on people who had previously not felt concerned by the issue. In France, the introduction of points on driving licenses has enabled the government to send drivers with several highway code violations on mandatory training courses. Most of these courses have a very broad content, but some countries have courses specially designed for people committing speeding offences, like Austria, Belgium and the UK. Examining accident statistics, however, generally reveals a weak impact on the risk of accidents. In industrialized countries, a significant number of journeys are made by drivers with no license. In France, 33,030 drivers were caught without a license in 2005. Two main reasons were given: the excessive cost of driving lessons, and the need to travel after losing one's license. In emerging countries, the priority is to create a culture of road safety. Before China's rapid growth, Chinese people with cars also had drivers, but today, after a threefold increase in the number of cars over the last six years, most motorists are young drivers. These countries also need to pass new laws. Current regulations governing truck drivers are insufficient, for example, with no limit on driving time and no regular medical check-up. A large number of studies have shown that road-safety campaigns are effective when they are launched at the same time as new tests or penalties. Whatever a country's level of development, speeding remains the most widely controlled and the most frequent violation. Almost all countries have mobile speed radars. Speeding violations are always punished with a fine (up to 693 in Canada), but can also lead to a temporary suspension of the driver's license, or loss of points if this system is in place. Some countries have opted for the massive deployment of stationary radars. The French government, for example, relates the dramatic fall in road deaths to the implementation of this punitive policy. In New Zealand, researchers have examined the subjective risk of speed controls, finding that increasing controls andpossibly more importantlyincreased fear of controls have helped to reduce traffic speed and the number of accidents.


Drivers are also controlled for compliance with seatbelt regulations, traffic signals, legal alcohol levels and consumption of illicit substances. The risk of an accident is doubled, on average, if the level of alcohol in the bloodstream exceeds 0.5g per liter and rises seven- or eightfold if this reaches 0.8g per liter. Legal limits vary from country to country, between 0.2g and 0.8g per liter. Sometimes a specific limit is specified for young drivers, bus drivers, truck drivers and motorcyclists. The idea of an onboard test in the vehicle is gaining ground. Components manufacturers and the Swedish automakers Saab and Volvo offer this equipment, popular on company cars, as an option. Testing for drugs was until recently problematic, since it required a urine test, but a saliva test is now available, although it cannot detect all banned substances. According to some specialists, saliva contains very little cannabis, for example, and a blood test is required in the event of a positive result. Sources: Studies: Kaltenegger, 2004, Hastings and Kennie, Ker et al, 2005, Elvik and Vaa, 2004, Masten and Peck, 2003, Povey et al, 2003 International transport forum OECD Scurit routire (France)

3.3. Risk by age group

The number of road deaths varies for different age groups. Young people are the most likely to be involved in road accidents, with those aged between 18 and 24 accounting for 25% of road deaths, although they represent just 10% of the global population. In the 15-24 age group, the proportion of deaths is 59% for cars (both drivers and passengers), 19% for motorcycles and 17% for pedestrians. Young men face a risk between three and four times as high. There are many reasons, Road deaths of young adults aged 18-25 including a lack of driving yearly European average experience, failure to adhere to the highway code and a tendency to take risks. The phenomenon is also exacerbated by their behavior at the weekend, especially on Friday and Saturday nights, with fatigue, night conditions, peer pressure, drinking and drug-taking. Every year in Europe, over 2,000 young people die during nights out. After an experiment conducted in Belgium, several European countries have launched campaigns designed to promote safety on the drive home, with one person acting as a designated driver, remaining sober to drive the others home. The other high-risk group is the elderly, especially as the next thirty years will see the proportion of those aged over 60 increasing in all countries. In France, the over-65s accounted for 52% of pedestrians and 30% of cyclists killed in traffic accidents in 2007, although they represent just 16% of the population. In Spain and the Netherlands, medical check-ups have revealed that one in ten motorists aged 50 and one in six aged 70 is driving without the correct glasses or contact lenses. Older drivers do not have more accidents than average, however, because they compensate for their declining capacity by driving more slowly and avoiding difficult driving conditions. Nevertheless, in the event of an accident, they are more vulnerable. An increase in the risk per kilometer can be observed after the age of 70 or 80. A British study demonstrated their difficulties with drivingthey are more likely to be involved in an accident at a T junction (34%) or a crossroads (14.6%), 13

because they have to join one or several traffic flows, as opposed to a roundabout (4.8%) where the traffic is all flowing the same way. Sources: CARE Association de la prvention routire LAB, the laboratory of accidentology, biomechanics and behavioral studies World Health Organization (WHO)

3.4. Balancing safety against the environment

The need to increase passenger protection often conflicts with another major objective: reducing consumption, pollutants and CO2 emissions. The development of passive safety has added a lot of weight to today's cars. This extra weight consists of cabin reinforcement and shock absorption, between two and nine airbags, and any number of comfort functions. In 1974, for example, the first ever Volkswagen Golf, at entry-level, weighed 780 kg when empty. In 2007, the fifth generation weighed 1,155 kg. Increasing the mass by around 10% generates additional fuel consumption of 6-8% and a similar rise in CO2 emissions. Well aware that they cannot turn the clock back for safety and comfort, automakers are therefore adapting vehicle designs and using materials with better strength-weight ratios, like high-yield steel, aluminum, magnesium and hi-tech plastics. Recent models seem to indicate that weight has stabilized and may even have begun to decline. Tires are the only part of the car that is in contact with the ground, and the vehicle's active safety is closely correlated with their ability to adhere to all kinds of surface in a wide range of temperatures. Unfortunately, however, simply by rolling over the roadway, tires lose energy to the extent of 20% of consumption! There are tires with lower rolling drag, but they have lower adherence, needing an additional eight meters to bring the vehicle to a halt at 100kph on wet ground, according to Continental, a tire manufacturer which recommends the pan-European deployment of a label combining rolling drag with braking on a wet surface. The label would allow motorists to choose the best compromise between the environment and road safety. SWOV, a European study, has found that daytime running lights would reduce the number of fatal collisions by 25%. Most vehicles do not have specific lights for this purpose, and using dipped halogen headlamps can increase the vehicle's consumption by up to 0.2l per 100km. Xenon and LED lamps would solve the problem, but they are currently available on new models only. Air conditioning also increases consumption by 6-20%. In fact, only slower driving on some roads is compatible with safety, energy savings and emissions reduction. Sources: ADEME Continental AG State of the art with respect to implementation of daytime running lights, SWOV


3.5. Acceptance of driving assistance and safety technologies

Advanced technologies designed for driving assistance can have unforeseen effects, mainly because they cause the driver to pay less attention and to trust the car's new control devices. Overconfident drivers have been seen speeding, driving too close to other cars and driving aggressively, since the introduction of ABS and ESC. Similarly, a study by Continental TEMIC suggests that using automatic cruise control requires an adaptation period of at least two weeks, and UMTRI, the University of Michigan Transport Institute has found that only 54% of drivers consider that a speeding alert would be useful on bends.

Several European countries are working on speed adaptation systems as part of the ISA (Intelligent Speed Adaptation) project, and researchers have tested speed support systems that display or alert the driver to the speed limit, and speed control systems that alert the driver and change the speed of the vehicle. Tests carried out in Sweden have shown that 60% of drivers wanted to keep the speed limit alert, but only 29% wanted the speed modification system. The systems had some negative effects, with drivers placing too much trust in the speed limit given by the system and not enough in the real-time situation, or relaxing to the extent that they paid more attention to other tasks than to their driving. The Vienna Convention, signed by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) states that "drivers must be in control of their vehicles at all times".


4. Regulations to come
According to the European Commission, if all vehicles were protected and equipped like top-end models, fatal and serious accidents could be cut by half.

4.1. ABS and ESP

ABS, the anti-lock braking system, is compulsory on cars in Europe, the United States and Japan. Emerging countries have yet to legislate, but average-sized low-cost cars like the Dacia Logan are also fitted with ABS. In China, two out of every three new cars have ABS, and one out of every seven have ABS in Brazil. ESC, or Electronic Stability Control, will gradually be made mandatory in the United States, beginning with 2012 models of vehicles up to 4.5 tonnes (starting in September 2011). A government study has shown that 10,000 lives can be saved by the system every year. The same study reports that ESC is the most important safety system after the seatbelt. EuroNCAP estimates that the system can save 4,000 lives every year. The European Commission has proposed, but not yet adopted, a law making ESP mandatory for all new types of car as of October 2012 and on all models produced as of October 2014. Around 50% of new cars were equipped with the system in the US and Europe, and 25% in Japan.

4.2. Pedestrian impact

A first pedestrian protection standard (directive 2005/66/EC) was introduced in Europe on 1 October 2005, in order to protect pedestrians from the consequences of being hit by a car. Cars complying with the new standard will absorb energy from the impact better, on the front end at the level of the pedestrian's legs and hips and on the bonnet at the level of a child or an adult's head. A second phase of this standard, 2003/102/EC, is planned for 2012, with a greater number of more stringent tests, especially concerning the protection of children's heads and adults' pelvic and abdominal area. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in the US has proposed a raft of measures for pedestrian protection.

4.3. Braking assistance system

According to the European Commission, making the braking assistance system compulsory would save 1,100 lives a year and reduce the number of seriously injured by 46,000. The system was developed when people realized that most drivers are too nervous to press hard on the brake pedal or release pressure in an emergency stop, which increases braking distance. The braking assistance system, which is not to be confused with a brake power-assist unit (servo brake), automatically maintains maximum braking power if the driver unconsciously releases the pedal after pressing down on it rapidly. The system is already either factory-fitted or available as an option on most cars, and will probably be made compulsory in Europe as of October 2009. It is variously known as AFU (aide au freinage d'urgence), EBA (emergency brake assist), BAS (brake assist system), and BA (brake assist). It is expected to be made compulsory in Europe as of October 2009.

4.4. Automatic braking

This collision avoidance system measures the distance from the car to the vehicle in front as well as the approach speed. It uses detection sensors based on millimetric waves for average and high speeds and a camera for low speeds. If it considers that the car is coming too close or too fast, it alerts the driver with a sound, visual and/or sensory signal (pulses tightening the seatbelt or small brake pulse) two or three seconds before the projected collision. If a collision is inevitable, partial automatic braking is applied to attenuate the consequences. 16

4.5. Daytime running light

Daytime running lights help vehicles to be seen better during the day. The idea is to increase visibility in areas which are temporarily darkened and in heavy traffic, and to spot vehicles at greater distances. According to the Dutch Institute SWOV, the use of daytime running lights would cut the number of road deaths by 25%, and the number of injured in daytime pile-ups by 20%. Based on the countries that have already applied this measure, this estimate equates to 5,500 fewer deaths and 155,000 fewer injuries in Europe every year. Daytime running lights are currently mandatory in Scandinavian countries: Sweden since 1977, Norway since 1986, Iceland since 1988, Denmark since 1990 and Finland since 1982. These countries were joined in 2006 by Croatia, Austria and the Czech Republic. Canada requires daytime running lights on cars produced since 1 December 1989 and Hungary requires daytime running lights to be used on country roads. Some countries accept dipped headlights if the car does not have specific daytime running lights. Daytime running lights or dipped lights are sometimes mandatory for motorcycles. The European Commission will probably introduce this requirement as of 2011 for cars and 2012 for trucks and coaches. It has its opponents, however: motorcyclists whose vehicles would become less distinct, environmental lobbyists worried about the additional CO2, and some motorists concerned by the increase in sonsumption. There are new technological solutions for reducing headlamp consumption. The United States and Japan have no plans in this area.

4.6. Emergency calls

In Europe, experts reckon that up to 2,500 lives could be saved every year if the alert system and the response of the emergency services to an accident were improved. Emergency-room doctors say that the consequences of an accident are often less serious if the emergency services respond very rapidly. The emergency call system provides a solution to this problem, sending an automatic GSM warning to an emergency center in the event of an accident. It also gives the precise location of the vehicle via a GPS system, as well as other data such as airbag deployment, the client's mobile number and the chassis number, which indicates the make and color of the car. The center can then request the rapid intervention of the emergency services, who will already have accurate information. It can also try to contact the occupants of the vehicle in order to determine how many they are and how badly injured. The passengers can also active the emergency call manually in order to inform the center of an accident concerning another vehicle. BMW, Citron, Mercedes, Peugeot, Rolls-Royce, Volvo and General Motors all sell this system in some countries. Ford offers it in the US, using the driver's mobile telephone's Bluetooth connection. The European Commission would like to include the system, known as eCall, in a standard emergency call service reached on 112. Almost half the member states of the European Union have signed the eCall protocol for the equipment of all new vehicles. The regulation is expected to come into force in 2010.

4.7. Tire pressure monitoring

In the US, a tire pressure monitoring system has been mandatory for all vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 pounds or less (4,536 kg) since 1 September 2007. All four tires must be checked, and the system alerts the driver if the pressure in one of them falls below 75% of its recommended level. The regulation was imposed after a number of accidents, usually involving SUVs and pickups, caused by faulty tires. The NHTSA recorded 414 dead and 10,275 injured as a result of defective tires in 2003. In Europe, tire pressure surveillance is only mandatory if the vehicle is equipped with runflat tires to avoid situations in which the driver continues to drive normally without realizing that one of the tires is punctured. The European Commission is interested in the safety advantages of the system, however, and also its associated fuel savings and reduced CO2 emissions. A pressure drop of 1 bar increases fuel consumption by an average of 6%. 17

4.8. On-board breathalyzer

Onboard breathalyzers can prevent a car being started if the driver's blood alcohol level is over the authorized limit. No country requires the use of this system. Interlock breathalyzers have been used in the US and Canada for over twenty years. Sweden began tests in 1999, and several thousand vehicles now use the system. All trucks, coaches and school buses are to be equipped soon. In France, on-board breathalyzers were tested for six months in the Alps on drivers who were not alcoholics, but who had been caught drink driving. There was a significant positive impact on the number of drunk drivers, with the number of persistent offenders on the program falling by between 50 and 70%. The Belgian and French governments are preparing legislation on the compulsory installation of onboard breathalyzers for persistent drunk drivers. To date, the system is largely restricted to professional vehicles, and a voluntary approach is being adopted for its use by the wider public. It will allow parents, for example, to make sure that their children cannot drink drive. Insurers, too, could offer reduced rates for cars equipped with the interlock.


5. Key emerging trends

A wide range of new technologies to increase the safety of road travel are in the pipeline: Active safety (when drivers are involved in a dangerous situation, whether or not they can react) Passive safety (when the driver and the car are no longer able to avoid a collision) After a crash, to summon help and assistance

5.1. Active safety

5.1.1. Advanced lighting Night vision has always been a concern for the automotive industry, and new technologies are going to improve it. Xenon lamps offer better-quality light. A study conducted in Germany by TV Rheinland looked at the correlation between the probability of having an accident at night (as opposed to during the day) and at the Xenon take-up rate for the vehicle type. The results were conclusive: the number of accidents on German roads could be reduced by 60% at night if all cars were equipped with Xenon light. This kind of light could probably save as many lives as stability control system. LED ("Light Emitting Diode") lighting is also eagerly awaited. LEDs generate light by virtue of their electroluminescent qualities. They are already in use in rear lamps and daytime running lamps, and will soon be mass produced for high and low beams, Lighting will also be better adapted to all sorts of different situations. "Bending light" can turn the beam by up to 15 in bends, by following the angle of the wheels. This technique may soon guide the lamps before the vehicle has even arrived in the bend. Beams could also be made to adapt to speed bumps and changes in gradient by adapting the height of the beam, and to fog. Better even than automatic switching between high and low beams, management of the illuminated area would be more adaptive, in order to offer the greatest range possible without dazzling other road users. 5.1.2. Longitudinal control Cruise control allows the driver to maintain the preselected speed. ACC, or Adaptive Cruise Control, uses radar to detect obstacles in front of the vehicle in order to measure the distance to the car in front. According to one study, ACC reduces speed fluctuations in traffic, which in turn cuts the risk of collisions and fuel consumption. European Commission findings indicate that better sensors than those currently used, that warn the driver of an imminent collision half a second earlier, could reduce the number of rear-impact collisions by 60%. If a vehicle is detected driving more slowly in the same lane in front of the car, the speed is adapted in order to maintain a safe distance. This is generally set to two seconds (since distance varies according to speed) although many systems allow vehicles to be as little as one second apart. ACC is currently only available on top-end models because of the high cost of the radar (end-user cost of between 1,800 and 2,500). Manufacturing costs should be cut by new technologies, such as the elimination of moving parts, a reduction in the number of aerials and the introduction of silicon chips. Cheaper radars of just 24 GHz instead of 77 GHz will also be used, despite their limited range (around 120m instead of 160-200m). The radar can also be replaced by a lidar, but this technology is based on vision, not millimetric waves, and its obstacle detection field is therefore narrower. If the ACC is not enabled, a system alerting the driver to an unsafe inter-vehicle distance may remain operational, sending sound signals and visual messages if this distance is insufficient.


5.1.3. Lateral ccontrol The lane departure warning system identifies the position of the car compared to the white lines, by analyzing images filmed by a camera located behind the windshield. If the vehicle's projected path crosses the white line without the indicators being activated, the system alerts the driver, prompting a change of direction. This system will eventually become a lane-holding assistance solution which will act directly on the steering. In order to prevent the vehicle straying into the adjacent lane, the steering will adjust itself precisely in order to return to the middle of its lane. The system is particularly suitable for long, monotonous journeys on the highway, during which it is easy to lose concentration. This solution is featured on the Lexus LS (LK, or Lane Keep system) and the Honda Legend and Accord (LKAS, Lane Keeping Assist System).Both automakers wanted to avoid "automatic driving", whereby the driver releases the steering wheel deliberately, or drives while drowsy. The system disconnects if no torque is detected from the steering wheel for between 6 and 15 seconds, just like the TGV (French high-speed train).The lanekeeping assistance system has technical limitations, being unable to cope with a lack of road markings, an insufficient turning radius, or the glare of sunlight on the ground, or with fog or snow.

The other lateral control in the development pipeline is lane change assistance. Changing lane requires the driver to perform a number of checks and actions almost simultaneously and often at high speed, such as checking the interior and exterior rearview mirrors, activating the indicator, steering and accelerating, all with an eye on the speed and position of the other vehicles. The driver also has to cope with a blind spot, an area of poor visibility between their lateral field of vision and the area covered by the rearview mirror. A lot can go wrong in a short space of time, therefore, as found by an American study which revealed that 40% of highway accidents occur during this maneuver. Systems for blind spot detection and alerts for vehicles travelling at a higher speed in the adjacent lane exist. If the driver activates the indicator prior to changing lane, a warning light appears in the rearview mirror on the appropriate side in the event of the presence of an adjacent vehicle. Detection is either radar- or camera-based. 5.1.4. Improving road holding Avoiding a crash is also dependent on the vehicle's roadholding capacity. Several new technologies are arriving on the market, currently aimed at sports-style cars. Torque vectoring, for example, actively transmits different torque to the right and left wheels, independently of the torque supplied by the engine, and it can work even when the car is decelerating. Transferring effort between the wheels creates a yawing moment that helps the vehicle to turn, in order to follow the path indicated by the driver. Torque vectoring also helps to reduce intervention by the stability control system, and can work not only on a front-wheel drive, but also a rear-wheel drive or a four-wheel drive. The concept is currently available on the Honda Legend, the Acura RL, MDX and RDX, the BMW X6 and the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution and is coming soon to Audi. New mechatronics have paved the way for the return of an old ideausing the rear steering axle to improve stability at high speed. The rear wheels turn in the same direction as the front wheels, but never by more than 3, increasing the capacity of the vehicle to change lane quickly by reducing the yawing moment and the phase difference between the two axles. The system can also be used when braking on an asymmetrical surface: by maintaining the path of the vehicle, braking power can be increased, shortening braking distance. Rear steering is also used at low speed to reduce the turning radius, by turning the wheels in the opposite direction to the front wheels. This technology is currently available on the Renault Laguna GT and soon on the new BMW 7 Series. In the US, it is expected to appear very soon on SUVs and pick-ups. Improving vehicles' roadholding capacity will require the central, combined management of various systems, including the stability control, steering, suspension, engine and transmission. If it is necessary to improve roadholding immediately, for example, often at the expense of occupant comfort, the shock absorbers can be hardened and power


reduced. It will soon be possible to switch to a more sensitive stability control program and make steering more responsive. 5.1.5. Driving surveillance Every year, around 1,800 drivers are caught driving against the traffic in Germany. Stress and overwork are the leading causes, followed by disorientation and poor visibility. Alcohol is a factor in a third of cases. A warning system preventing motorists taking lanes against the traffic is in development. Based on a navigation system that compares the direction taken to that recorded in a digital map, the system may also be used to communicate between vehicles or with the infrastructure to warn other road users. Also in the pipeline is ISA (Intelligent Speed Adaptation), which reduces the risk of speeding. ISA compares the speed of the vehicle to the legal limit on that particular stretch of road. Speed limit information is supplied either by data integrated into the navigation system or by reading road signs, using a camera that constantly monitors signs along the side of the road as well as those with overhead electronic displays on highways. 5.1.6. Driver surveillance According to the NHTSA, motorists are four to six times more likely to be involved in an accident if they are tired. Fatigue is a cause of 100,000 accidents in the US every year. There are two technologies that can measure fatigue and drowsiness: blinking analysis and assessment of the behavior of the vehicle. In both cases, the system uses different signals to alert the driver: sound signals, steering wheel vibrations, braking pulses, etc. This function was designed to alert drivers when their concentration begins to decline, when on an even, straight road, for example, on which the driver is relaxed, and when the risk of distraction or drowsiness is greatest. Drowsiness is hard to analyze, but the signs are familiar: stinging eyes, blinking more frequently and more slowly, smaller pupils. Yawning and shivering are signs that the brain is working more slowly, even when the eyes are open, which extends reaction times. To analyze the blinking of the eyes, a CMOS camera films the eyes and sends the images for processing. Infrared lighting allows the camera to work in darkness. The system calculates the frequency and duration with which the eyes close, and alerts the driver if their eyes remain closed for more than a second during a journey. The system that analyzes the movements and the controls of the vehicle is closer to a market launch. It is both cheaper and less sensitive to variations between people, since no two people react to fatigue in exactly the same way. This system monitors the car's movements by using the ESC network of sensors. Sometimes it also measures the distance to the car in front, and it draws a conclusion about the driver's control of the vehicle. The solution can also be used to correct driving errors caused by inattention, while using a telephone, for example, or changing CD. Lexus has already equipped the LS with a detection system for inattention (but not fatigue), which analyzes the position of the driver's face in comparison to the road, and issues a warning in the event that a bad position is not rapidly rectified or if an obstacle is detected on the road. 5.1.7. ITS (Intelligent Transport Systems) Automakers, automotive suppliers, highway management companies, and the relevant public bodies are working on new communication technologies and ITS (Intelligent Transport Systems), with the aim of instigating a "dialogue" between information and communication technologies and road infrastructures, vehicles and motorists. They can exchange many kinds of information: Traffic information: displays indicating the amount of traffic and warning of traffic jams, highway radio stations, traffic management, and online road information services. Driving information and warnings: speeding, driving too close, poor lane positioning, dangerous zone ahead (black ice, fog, etc), automatic accident detection. Miscellaneous services: assistance, surveillance of vehicles transporting dangerous materials, etc. ITS offers several advantages, including: 21

allowing a vehicle or driver to alert other drivers immediately to an incident on the road before they arrive on the scene, enabling the emergency services to circulate in heavy traffic by asking motorists to give way, via messages on roadside displays and on their dashboards, sending the information that black ice has been detected (by the ESC system) to traffic upstream and to the road infrastructures, alerting the vehicle concerned and all others, as soon as a motorist is detected driving against the traffic.

Many problems remain to be solved. Transponders will have to be placed along the highways, for example, and a control center would be needed to manage information flows. This information would also need to be shared between the infrastructures and vehicles. In 2006, the European Commission announced that it was reserving part of the radio spectrum all over Europe in order to enable this communication, hoping both to improve traffic flow on the European road network, where 7,500 km of traffic jams are formed every day, and to cut emissions and the risk of accidents. Active speed control of the vehicle is also being developed, for example through the ISA (Intelligent Speed Adaptation) project. ISA compares the speed of the vehicle to the legal limit on that particular stretch of road. Speed limit information is supplied either by data integrated into the navigation system or by reading road signs, using a camera that constantly monitors signs along the side of the road as well as those with overhead electronic displays on highways. By comparing this data to the values stored in the navigation system's memory, the system can take account of temporary adjustments to the speed limit, in the case of a building site, for example. There are different levels of ISA. It may simply alerts drivers that they are over the speed limit. It may be more active, by generating a force on the accelerator pedal to encourage drivers to remain within the limit, although they can still put their foot down. They can also exceed the speed limit, but only if they disconnect the system. Tests in Sweden and Holland have given positive results. The French LAVIAa limiting system that takes account of the legal speed limitwas tested on around a hundred volunteers between November 2004 and January 2006 in the western Paris suburbs, on twenty different cars (Renault Laguna and Peugeot 307). The study found that the system was useful above 30 kph when permanently active and above 50 kph in all modes, preventing speeding through lack of concentration and changing people's driving habits. Only 45% of users accepted the permanently active system, however, and 44% were reluctant. In some situations the system was not only less acceptable but actually dangerous, such as joining the flow of traffic, overtaking and when the driver felt that they were impeding other motorists or coming under pressure from them.
Sources: European Commission Chira-Chavala and Yoo report The 100-Car Study, Virginia Tech Honda, Lexus, Mercedes, Volvo

5.2. Passive safety

5.2.1. Longitudinal protection Automakers and automotive suppliers have made huge efforts to improve the protection of vehicle occupants in the event of a head-on collision, both in order to meet legal requirements and also in response to media pressure after much publicized crash-tests conducted by different NCAP bodies (New Car Assessment Program). One new technology will bring significant progress to this field: crash speed reduction. According to the NHTSA, 29% of accidents recorded by the police are caused by rear impact, and in over 50% of cases, the driver did not brake before the collision.


Sensors scanning the road, often consisting of a radar linked to a camera, allow obstacles to be detected in the path of the vehicle. These sensors are usually those of the cruise control, that maintain a safe distance to the car in front. This system uses them to calculate the risk of collision, and if an accident is considered to be inevitable, it will attempt to limit the effects of the impact (passive safety) by reducing speed: the brakes are activated automatically at around 50% of maximum deceleration. According to Volvo, "reducing collision speed from 60 to 50 kph reduces the force of the impact by around 30%. For the vehicle occupants, that can make the difference between serious injury and an accident with no consequences." The system is only available on a limited number of models, and sometimes is only on option. They include: Mercedes S and CL, Lexus LS, Honda Legend, CR-V and Accord. The biggest obstacle facing this technology is currently the cost of millimetric wave radar. Volvo has opted for a system that works at low speed. "With surveys indicating that 75% of all reported collisions take place at speeds of under 30 kph, and that in 50% of these cases, the driver has not braked at all before the collision, it's easy to see the potential City Safety has," says John Wallace, Volvo Car UK's corporate sales and leasing manager. Under 30 kph, the City Safety camera detects the presence of vehicles that are either at a standstill or moving very slowly in the same direction, up to 10m ahead of the car. If the car is approaching too fast and the driver fails to react, the system itself applies the brakes. Protective equipment that is already widely used is now being improved: seatbelts can be motorized in order to apply tension before, and not during, the impact. Motorization can also increase tension gradually, limiting pressure to the collarbone, and adjusting it to the height and weight of the person. A system is in the pipeline that will draw the buckle down once the seatbelt has been fastened, in order to improve restraint of the pelvis and prevent submarining (when the body slides under the belt and abdomen protection). Airbags, too, are being upgraded. On the Citron C4 and C5, the fixed central hub can accommodate airbags that are not necessarily spherical. They can be deployed first towards the head and then towards the chest, which provides better protection of the driver. The Lexus IS has a twin airbag for the front passenger, with right and left compartments that inflate simultaneously, in order to spread the force of the collision more safely across the body and limiting the risk of injury. Sensitive parts of the face such as the nose and mouth push forward into the central area, while the cheeks and shoulders are more firmly held back by the two cushions. Some new convertibles now offer the same lateral protection for the head as cars with roofs, using a curtain airbag installed in the door pillar instead of the side rails of the roof. This airbag is stiffer than usual in order to maintain a vertical position and protect the head of the occupant even if the window is down. If the car tips over, the airbag deflates slowly to maintain protection. This feature is currently available only on the Volvo C70 and Porsche 911 convertibles. 5.2.2. Lateral protection Because there is so little space to absorb the energy between the point of contact and the vehicle occupant, protection from lateral impacts is one of the hardest tasks in passive safety. Possible developments include pillars of high-yield steel or carbon fiber, and more effective side airbags. Some models already have four airbag sensors instead of two (one in each front door and one in each central pillar), which can increase impact detection time by up to 50%, deploying the airbag in just four milliseconds. Next in the pipeline is the use of lateral sensors which will establish the certainty of the impact before it has even taken place, and this early detection allows active lateral reinforcement systems and more effective airbags. 5.2.3. Pedestrian protection Detecting pedestrians in the path of the vehicle will help to improve their protection. If it is too late to avoid the collision, the system can reduce the speed of the impact, or deploy active systems in the vehicle, such as front-end absorbers, lifting the hood, or even external airbags. Pedestrian detection, however, requires particularly sophisticated technology, of which the most appropriate analyzes images taken by a camera. The algorithm can then confirm that 23

the obstacle is indeed a pedestrianand not a tree, pillar or road sign, in which case it would not trigger the active systems like raising the hoodand that its position and direction place it on the vehicle's trajectory. Currently only BMW offer this detection system on the new 7 Series, but it is only informative : It warns the driver of the danger by coloring the pedestrian in yellow on a screen, and displaying an indicator on the dashboard and the head-up display. Front ends are also being improved to limit the consequences of pedestrian collision. New developments on the market offer front ends that are more vertical, in order to spread the energy of the impact across the length of the leg and not a single point such as the knees. Materials are being used that increase the absorption of energy from the impact, and the pedestrian detection system will enable the front end to apply active safety measures: in the event of an imminent collision, the front crosspieces can be rearranged and additional protective panels can be deployed. The engine hood is also the subject of attention. It must be able to protect the head, either by allowing it to move downwards or by raising itself slightly, if there is insufficient space in the engine compartment. This system is already available on some vehicles, including the Citron C6 and the Jaguar XK. Some work is being done on airbag deployment, largely in order to improve protection of the head from the hard area at the base of the windscreen and the wiper compartment. According to the European Commission, combining pedestrian detection with even less dangerous front ends could raise pedestrian protection by 80% from current levels. Sources: NHTSA Studies BMW, Mercedes, Volvo


6. Valeo solutions
6.1. Driving Assistance for low speeds
Valeo is the world leader in ultrasonic parking assistance systems, which alert the driver to the presence of obstacles during a parking maneuver with a sound signal. Obstacles are detected by several ultrasound sensors spread out over the width of the vehicle. The frequency of the signal indicates the remaining distance, intensifying gradually and becoming continuous at around 30cm. This solution offers a genuine feeling of safety and increased confidence during reversing and parking maneuvers. Parallel parking is difficult and stressful, and can lead to accidents. The Park4U system automatically carries out the maneuver in just a few seconds, controlling the vehicles steering while the driver retains control over the speed. When sufficient space is detected, that is say, the vehicle length plus 80cm, in the latest versions of the solution, the driver puts the car into reverse and uses the accelerator and brake pedal to control the speed. Park4U turns the steering wheel to guide the vehicle into the parking spot. During the maneuver, the parking sensors alert the driver to the presence of any obstacles in the path of the vehicle. This operation can be interrupted if necessary. If the vehicle is not correctly aligned, a sophisticated calculation of the necessary adjustment allows it to be guided backward and forward until it is in the proper position. Valeo is already working on a new version of Park4U, which will guide the vehicle out of its parking space after identifying the position of obstacles when the vehicle is started. Valeo also has other innovative driving assistance solutions that help reduce the risk of accidents. A wide-angle video camera, for example, gives an excellent view of the vehicle's environment when reversing, allowing the driver to see any hazards on a dashboard display, such as a child that cannot be seen out of the rear window. This image can also be supplemented with a display of the distance between the vehicle and the hazard, information that can be displayed in different ways, superimposed on the image in the area in which the hazard is detected. If the car approaches a pillar, for example, while reversing, the obstacle will be indicated on the screen by a succession of colored bars, the number of which corresponds to the distance of the pillar. The system combines video cameras and ultrasound sensors. Accidents can often be caused by a lack of visibility when leaving a diagonal parking spot if the vehicle is reversing out. Valeo has a system for detecting other vehicles, using radars placed either side of the car. These are the same radars that monitor the driver's blind spot. The driver is told whether the exit is safe or whether another vehicle is approaching, before reversing out. Full visibility of the car's surroundings increases safety, and Valeo has produced the TopVue system that displays, on a single screen, a vertical image with a depth of several meters of the vehicle's periphery. This information increases the safety of the vehicle's movements at low speed, in areas with many hazards that are not always easy to see, such as pedestrians crossing the road, animals, and kerbsides, during parking maneuvers. TopVue has five camerasone at the rear, one on either side, in the rearview mirrors, and two at the front. The forward cameras, one on each side, ensure visibility in difficult conditions, such as when the sun is low in the sky.

6.2. Driving Assistance for medium and high speeds

LaneVue, Valeo's unintentional lane departure warning system, warns the driver if the vehicle strays into another lane without activation of the indicator, so that the vehicle's trajectory can be quickly corrected. The system uses a camera placed behind the windshield, which tracks the road up to 10 meters ahead of the vehicle, allowing it to follow the white lane markings. These images are processed by an application which recreates a digital image of the road markings and determines the position of the vehicle in its lane. The vehicle's trajectory in relation to the lines is determined by data from the stability control system, provided by sensors for the steering angle, g-force, and lateral acceleration. 25

If the calculations conclude that there is a risk of crossing the line, the driver is immediately alerted. This active safety system is particularly useful in that it sends an alert before the lane change takes place, giving the driver sufficient reaction time. The camera can detect both white and yellow lines, broken or unbroken. Its ability to operate at night or in fog provides it with an additional active safety advantage. Several types of driver alert are possible, according to the preferences of the automakers: buzzer, sound signal or warning light. LaneVue was developed in collaboration with Valeo's technological partner Iteris. LaneVue, Valeo's unintentional lane departure warning system, which was a world first in 2005, now appears on two models: Infiniti FX and M45. It has already received three prestigious awardsthe 2005 Premier Automobile Suppliers' Contributions to Excellence (PACE) Award in the Product Innovations category, the 2004 Automechanika Innovation Award in the Systems and Modules category, and the 2005 Nissan Global Innovation Award. If the driver really wants to change lane, the decision must be taken rapidly, because the vehicle is moving among several other objects, all moving at different speeds. The driver also has to take account of the blind spot, an area of poor visibility between the lateral field of vision and the area covered by the rearview mirror. Valeo's blind spot detection system alerts drivers to the presence of a vehicle in this area. Two 24 GHz millimetricwave radars on either side of the rear of the car detect any obstacles. When one senses the presence of another vehiclecar, lorry, or motorcyclethe system alerts the driver with a light appropriately situated in the wing mirror. This safety information is immediate and intuitive. The radar is not sensitive to most meteorological conditions, such as heavy rain and blizzards. Valeo's blind spot detection is available on several General Motors brands, including Cadillac, Buick, Chevrolet and GMC, and is also fitted on the new Jaguar XF. By 2010, it will equip 27 models. The usefulness of this new Valeo system was recognized by a PACE Award in 2007. Valeo is working on several other developments that will help drivers, including a system to recognize speed-limit road signs, informing the driver of the maximum authorized limit. The driver will be constantly reminded of the local speed limit currently in force, even if a temporary road sign has been put up during roadworks, for example. The system can also read other road signs, such as dangerous bend warnings, signs forbidding overtaking or stopping, and focuses the driver's attention on these signs.

6.3. Improving visibility

Valeo is not just a global supplier of lighting systems: since 2004, the Group has been carrying out market research helping automakers to select the technology that best meets the needs of their particular clientele. Valeo supplies dynamic bending light systems, and "highway beams" that offer 60 meters more visibility. Its Xenon headlamps offer road visibility of 110 meters in low beam, instead of 80 meters for halogen lamps, i.e. a 30% range increase. At 110 km/h, this extra visibility gives the driver an extra second to react to an obstacle in the road, and if the Xenon headlamps also have a DBL function, the visibility increase rises to 44%. Valeo has a wide range of LED lighting systems for all functions. Its Full LED module provides all lighting functions such as turn indicators, parking and daytime running lights, and high beam, low beam, and motorway mode lighting. The headlamp low beam and high beam assembly comprises a line of LED units and a cooling device that offer a lifespan equal to that of the vehicle. The headlamp low beam is produced by reflecting part of the beam towards the upper elliptical reflectors. By using a reflector rather than a shield (as in a projector system) that would absorb the light, less of the light produced by the LEDs is lost. The high beam distribution is generated by a lens, offering a compact solution with an individual style. A tourist function can easily be added by activating the lower, flat-cut-off modules only. This enables a left-hand-drive vehicle to adapt its lighting accordingly when driving in countries where traffic drives on the left, and vice versa.


Valeo has even more innovative functions: BeamAtic is a response to the reluctance of drivers to activate the high beam as soon as possible. BeamAtic automatically switches between high and low beam according to whether other vehicles are present, either in front of the car or oncoming. According to a study carried out by Valeo in real conditions, using BeamAtic increases the use of high beam lamps by five, and BeamAtic Plus offers even higher rates. In fact, the system does not use "high" and "low" beams as such, but a continuous beam that varies progressively between these two positions, providing maximum light for the driver without dazzling other motorists. Adaptive high-beams do not alter only the distance of the beam but also its shape. In the case of a right-hand drive, for example, if the vehicle passes an oncoming car, the area illuminating the left-hand lane will be reduced more quickly than the right-hand lane. Compared to an immediate shift to low beam, BeamAtic Plus offers the driver a greater range in the intermediary phase, without the risk of dazzle, while drastically cutting down on the blackout effect. And BeamAtic Premium maintains the high beam at all times, darkening only the field occupied by oncoming traffic or the vehicles in front of the car. The size and position of the darkened area can be changed by a dynamic "light blinder". These adaptive functions are only made possible by using a camera to monitor the road and track the different light flows. This camera is placed behind the windshield at the level of the rearview mirror. Image-processing software determines whether a given source of light is generated by a moving vehicle or a stationary lamp, such as street lighting or an information panel. The position of other vehicles is precisely determined to avoid dazzling their drivers. Camera assistance can also take account of a gradient in order to raise the beam when entering a rise or lowering it before a dip in the road. Rain also has a strong impact on visibility. The development of windshield wipers faces many challenges: a high relative speed between the air and the vehicles, increasingly curved and higher windshields, temperature variations, ice and aggressive chemical products. Valeo's Flat Blade wiper, with its original technology, can adapt to any shape of windshield in three dimensions, while applying sufficient pressure across its entire length. The Flat Blade comprises a continuous built-in spline inside the wiper blade, which spreads the contact pressure along the entire length, something that used to be achieved with multiple articulated levers in previous generations of blades. The rubber wiping lip and the spoiler are not made of the same rubber: the spoiler is stiffer, offering wiping performance up to 220 km/h. This is the combined speed of the vehicle and the speed of the wind; it is therefore crucial to push this figure up still further. The single spline makes the wiper more compact, reducing the build-up of snow and increasing performance in extreme conditions.

6.4. Greater pedestrian protection

In the event of an accident involving a pedestrian, the car could benefit from being equipped with the Safe4U system, the result of intensive research conducted by the engineers of Valeo's Driving Assistance Domain. The Optibumber architecture optimizes the passive protection of passengers and pedestrians and uses two crosspieces to absorb the energy from any pedestrian collision. The upper crosspiece is in malleable steel, supporting absorbers in compressible plastic. It is attached to two innovative, Valeodesigned "crash boxes" which are not in steel, but in plastic. Optibumper reduces the risk of injury to pedestrians' legs and knees, and allows automakers to meet the new European standard 2003/102/EC, Pedestrian Impact Phase 2, which comes into force in 2012, and the US IIHS standards and the Allianz test. The efficiency of the concept enabled Optibumper to score maximum points in the "pedestrian impact" part of the EuroNCAP test. Valeo already proposes a system offering increased protection for the upper legs of adults and the heads of children, leading to a safety level that largely exceeds the requirements of regulations that will come into force in 2012. This concept includes a pedestrian detection system and an active system that increases the absorption of energy, reducing impact and any injury to the pedestrian. Pedestrians are detected by a radar on the upper crosspiece and two cameras along the radiator grille. Once it has established the risk of collision, two actuators release the upper crosspiece from its supports in under 100 milliseconds. This allows the upper part of the front end to swing back, limiting the maximum effort and spreading it over a longer distance. while optimizing the deformation of the crosspiece. The 27

system is reversible: if the impact does not take place, the actuators move back into place and reconstitute the front end. Valeo is responsible for the entire development of the product, from digital design to validation and delivery of the complete system, within the customer's deadline.


7. Conclusion
Increasing road safety is unavoidable. Because it is so closely tied to human behavior, the issue needs to be addressed on several different fronts. As a priority, training for drivers must be implemented or pursued, especially in under-developed countries. Information campaigns have also shown short-term effectiveness. Young people must be given a better background in road safety principles: they must be made more aware of the dangers that road travel can pose both to themselves and to others. It has also been shown that results can be achieved with a raft of operational penalties that are continuous and appropriate. People and governments have a huge expectation that technology can solve all these problems, and it is true that technical progress has managed to offset a certain number of deficiencies. No driver is really perfect, and certainly no driver is constantly, permanently perfect. Lapses of concentration and errors of judgment are typically human failings, as is the inability to systematically apply even the most basic safety rules. Fatigue and the gradual loss of driving ability, due especially to age, are also obvious human weaknesses. In addition to these, safety is also jeopardized by poor visibility, especially at night or in fog, heavy rain, blizzards, and even driving in built-up areas. In all these situations, technology can provide precious and effective support which must not be restricted to top-end models, but offered at acceptable cost on the big sellers, including low-cost vehicles. In our fiercely competitive automotive market, only government intervention making new safety equipment a legal requirement will lead to a level of mass production high enough to bring manufacturing costs down. People are increasingly intolerant of injuries and deaths that are not due to old age, and this also applies to road accidents. Some countries, in fact, have launched a "Vision Zero" program, aimed at gradually improving road safety until, ideally, it achieves driving practices whereby no-one is injured and no-one is killed. Until now, all onboard technologies have been considered as providing driving assistance and additional protection: drivers remain responsible for their actions, despite no driver being perfect. Achieving Vision Zero will undoubtedly require handing greater control of the vehicle over to technology, which will leave the driver in charge, as long as no lives are in danger, and will take over if an accident is likely to occur, whether caused by the driver or external factors. All mistakes could therefore be corrected, always and immediately, and any accident that did occur would cause no injuries. This might require adopting something like an automatic pilot, offering optimal safety while preserving the need for mobility and individual freedom. Given our current level of knowledge, technology remains fallible. But road accidents are far more frequently caused by human error than by faulty hardware, and progress is making this equipment safer and more reliable all the time, allowing us to look forward to a day when we reach total, flawless reliability.