One of the most common causes of road accidents involves pedestrians walking out in front of oncoming traffic, often the driver doesn’t have much time or space to reach and what happens next is not pretty by any stretch of the imagination. Technology can be put to use so that such accidents are reduced and that’s what Bosch aims to do. The company is working on a pedestrian avoidance system which it hopes to bring to production cars as early as 2018.


The system is being developed at Bosch’s research and development center in  Renningen, Germany. It’s reportedly not fully autonomous right now but will intervene if it feels that the driver’s response alone is not good enough to prevent an accident.

Bosch’s team that’s building this system says that as long as the driver reacts to a potential collision with a pedestrian just half a second before it happens the system will help reduce the chances of a crash in 60 percent of cases.

The system relies upon a stereo video camera which constantly monitors the road up ahead for pedestrians and traffic. Onboard software predicts paths that they’re likely to take based on their direction of travel and speed, the software learns from massive datasets of pedestrian behaviour that’s captured from hours of dashcam footage. This enables the software to form an understanding of when a collision is likely to occur.

It won’t do anything until the onboard sensors detect a change in the steering angle, yaw rate and vehicle speed brought on by the driver’s evasive action. Then the system kicks in and ascertains when the driver’s response alone is enough and if it’s not it will immediately provide braking and steering assistance to avoid a collision only if the path will remain clear of any more traffic or pedestrians.

All of this sounds good in theory but it remains to be seen how this system will perform on a daily basis out in the real world, and not in test conditions where factors are tightly controlled. Nevertheless it’s a good idea and if all goes according to plan perhaps we might see it in production cars by 2018 as Bosch hopes.

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