Nearly half—48%—of rail tank cars carrying Class 3 flammable liquids in 2019 in the US met the new safety requirements, up from 33% in 2018, according to Fleet Composition of Rail Tank Cars Carrying Flammable Liquids: 2020 Report released today by the US Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics.... Read more →


Using radar commonly deployed to track speeders and fastballs, researchers have developed an automated system that will allow cars to peer around corners and spot oncoming traffic and pedestrians. Researchers combined artificial intelligence and radar used to track speeders to develop a system that will allow vehicles to spot hazards... Read more →


Fewer wild animals, including threatened mountain lions, are becoming roadkill during shelter-in-place orders, according to a study on three states from the University of California, Davis. Using traffic and collision data collected from California, Idaho and Maine, the researchers found that wildlife-vehicle conflict has declined by 21-56 percent from early... Read more →


Toyota Motor Corporation will make its Total Human Model for Safety (THUMS) software freely available from January 2021 as part of its efforts toward a safe mobility society. THUMS is a virtual human body model software program for computer analysis of human body injuries caused in vehicle collisions. Free access... Read more →


U of Illinois study shows reduced speed limits save lives in busy cities with minimal impact on travel time

Traffic accidents are the leading cause of non-natural deaths worldwide. Lower speed limits may help prevent accidents. But speed-reduction policies can be controversial and effects are not well documented. A new study from University of Illinois shows that speed reductions in São Paulo, Brazil, significantly reduced fatal accidents and increased... Read more →


IIHS study finds autonomous vehicles may prevent only about 1/3 of all crashes if AVs drive like people

Autonomous vehicles might prevent only around a third of all crashes if automated systems drive too much like people, according to a new study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). It’s likely that fully self-driving cars will eventually identify hazards better than people, but we found that this... Read more →


IIHS: small car driver death rates remain high

Despite manufacturers’ efforts to make them safer, the smallest late-model cars remain the most dangerous, according to the most recent driver death rates calculated by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety. Small cars and minicars accounted for 15 of the 20 models with the highest death rates for model year... Read more →


Every new Volvo car now comes with a limited top speed of 180 km/h (112 mph), as Volvo Cars delivers on its promise made last year to introduce such a limitation and goes beyond regulation and legislation to help close the remaining gap to zero serious injuries and fatalities in... Read more →


ACEA asks Euro NCAP for two-year delay for introduction of 2022 protocols

In a letter to the Secretary General of the European New Car Assessment Program (Euro NCAP), the European Association of Automobile Manufacturers (ACEA), requested a 2‐year delay for the introduction of the 2022 protocols due to the projected lengthy time that will be needed to recover from the effects of... Read more →


GHSA: absent traffic jams, many drivers getting more reckless

Emptier streets may be encouraging some drivers to flaunt traffic safety laws, including speed limits, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA). Despite there being far fewer vehicles on the road due to COVID-19 stay-at-home orders, state highway safety officials across the country are seeing a severe spike in... Read more →


Traffic accidents and crash-related injuries and deaths were reduced by half during the first three weeks of California’s shelter-in-place order, which began March 20. The reductions save the state an estimated $40 million per day—about $1 billion over the time period—according to an updated special report released from the Road... Read more →


Fujitsu Limited announced the results of a joint field trial with the Japan Coast Guard to predict vessel collisions with AI technology, demonstrating its usefulness in detecting collision risks early and minimizing the danger of such accidents. The trial in Japan marine traffic control was conducted from December 2019 to... Read more →


Bollards and rubber curbs that prevent drivers from cutting across intersections at a diagonal can make streets safer for pedestrians, according to a new study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Such “centerline hardening” forces drivers to turn more slowly at close to a right angle by blocking... Read more →


BYD launched the Blade Battery, a development intended to mitigate concerns about battery safety in electric vehicles. The Blade Battery has been developed by BYD over the past several years. The individual cells are arranged together in an array and then inserted into a battery pack. Due to its optimized... Read more →


The Euro NCAP consortium has given an Advanced Award for ground-breaking safety features to the new Volkswagen Golf’s Car2X traffic hazard alert technology. The German automotive association ADAC tested the new technology and declared it a “technical milestone”. The new Golf is the first car on the European market to... Read more →


A new open-access study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that motor vehicle crashes involving drivers with blood alcohol concentrations (BACs) below the legal limit of 0.08% accounted for 15% of alcohol-involved crash deaths in the United States. Of these deaths, 55% of fatalities were individuals other than... Read more →


Researchers at the University of California San Diego have developed a safety feature that prevents lithium metal batteries from rapidly heating up and catching fire in case of an internal short circuit. The team modified the separator so that it slows down the flow of energy (and thus heat) that... Read more →


As the outbreak of the coronavirus now named COVID-19 began to scale in China, the organizers of AutoChina 2020 (the Beijing International Automotive Exhibition) cancelled their event which was due to be held in April. The Shanghai Formula 1 Grand Prix also cancelled. Now, although not of the scale of... Read more →


The Governors Highway Safety Association’s (GHSA’s) report, “Pedestrian Traffic Fatalities by State: 2019 Preliminary Data,” projects that 6,590 pedestrians were killed on US roads in 2019. GHSA’s projection represents a 5% increase from 2018 in the number of pedestrian fatalities. This projection represents a continuation of an increasing trend in... Read more →


Consumer Reports calls for major safety improvements across auto industry after NTSB findings in Tesla investigation

In light of new findings by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) related to investigation of a fatal Tesla crash in 2018 related to Tesla Autopilot, Consumer Reports called for manufacturers to include key safety features in any vehicle that has an active driving assistance system and for the National... Read more →


The National Transportation Safety Board held a public board meeting Tuesday during which it determined the probable cause for the fatal 23 March 2018, crash of a Tesla Model X in Mountain View, California. Final rest locations of the Tesla, Audi and Mazda vehicles involved in the 23 March 2018,... Read more →


Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) has developed a motion prediction system that enhances pedestrian detection for automated vehicles. The computer vision tool uses a novel deep learning algorithm to predict motion by observing real-time biomechanical movements with the pelvic area being a key indicator for changes. SwRI’s human motion prediction system... Read more →


USDOT advocates retaining transportation safety spectrum, announces first responder program

The US Department of Transportation intends to invest up to $38 million for a multimodal First Responder Safety Technology Pilot Program. US Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao announced the new program on 15 January at the 2020 Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting in Washington, DC. First responders face serious... Read more →


UCSF team finds significant increase in injuries for e-scooter riders

Researchers at the University of California San Francisco have found a significant increase in e-scooter injuries and hospital admissions between 2014 and 2018—particularly over the last year—with people aged 18 to 34 years becoming the most injured group. Nearly one-third of patients had a head injury, more than double the... Read more →


Mercedes-Benz introduces #MoveSafety initiative with two-day hackathon; new app based on Chinese app

With a two-day hackathon, Mercedes-Benz started the brand’s #MoveSafety initiative which in a first step focusses on creating a contextual application helping users to get where they want to be, as safely as possible. The new app will be based on “Tuban Xiong”, an app which has already been successfully... Read more →


IEEE to define a formal model for safe automated vehicle decision-making

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) has approved a proposal to develop a standard for safety considerations in automated vehicle (AV) decision-making and named Intel Senior Principal Engineer Jack Weast to lead the workgroup. The new standard—IEEE 2846—will establish a formal rules-based mathematical model for automated vehicle decision-making... Read more →


Infineon and Oculii partner to accelerate imaging radar software technology solutions in automotive applications

Oculii, a company developing high resolution imaging radars to enable the next generation of autonomous systems, and Infineon are collaborating on radar software solutions that scale performance for cost-effective single chip solutions tailored for Level 1 ADAS, all the way to multi-chip high performance solutions tailored for Level 4 Autonomous... Read more →


Volkswagen Group of America joins Automated Vehicle Safety Consortium

Volkswagen Group of America (VWGoA) has joined The Automated Vehicle Safety Consortium (AVSC). The group, which includes automakers and technology companies, is focused on jointly developing standards and best practices for testing and deploying highly automated vehicles for the future. It’s important that the industry work together in the development... Read more →


by Michael Sivak. Ten years ago, I published an analysis showing that the risk of driving in the United States was lowest during late winter and early spring and highest during fall. That analysis covered years 1994 through 2006. The present study examined whether this pattern still holds. The calculations... Read more →


The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) called upon federal regulators to create a review process before allowing automated test vehicles to operate on public roads, based upon the agency’s investigation of a fatal collision between an Uber automated test vehicle and a pedestrian. During a board meeting held to determine... Read more →


Hyundai Mobis has developed a new rear-autonomous emergency braking (R-AEB) technology that uses ultra short-range radar (USRR) for the first time. The new technology is expected to contribute greatly to prevent unexpected backover crashes since it responds faster and has a wider detection range than conventional ultrasound sensors used in... Read more →


Weathernews and Toyota Motor began a verification test in Tokyo, Osaka, and Aichi on 1 November 2019 in which the conditions of roads and their surroundings are ascertained using the operating status of windshield wipers, as well as weather data. This is part of a joint research effort to increase... Read more →


Prodrive is working with Volta Trucks to help engineer its 16-tonne electric heavy-duty truck. The Volta Trucks concept HGV positions its driver low down, centrally and forward of the front axle, to give uninterrupted vision at street level through 220 degrees. Prodrive will help develop the design into a drivable... Read more →


NHTSA: highway fatalities down, but pedestrian and cyclist fatalities up

The US Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released highway crash fatality data for 2018, showing a 2.4% decline in overall fatalities, the second consecutive year of reduced crash fatalities. The data, compiled by NHTSA’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System, shows that highway fatalities decreased in 2018 with... Read more →


U Waterloo team develops system that can minimize damage when self-driving vehicles crash

Engineers at the University of Waterloo have developed decision-making and motion-planning technology to limit injuries and damage when self-driving vehicles are involved in unavoidable crashes. A paper on their work is published in IEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems. A motion planning method for autonomous vehicles confronting emergency situations where... Read more →


In the coming winter, in cooperation with the district of Zollernalb, Mercedes-Benz will test how safety on wintry roads and the efficiency of municipal winter services can be improved with car-to-X communication. Car-to-X is the term used to describe communication between vehicles and the transport infrastructure. Mercedes-Benz passenger cars equipped... Read more →


UK researchers show 20mph zones effective in reducing road casualties

A review of published evidence by a team of researchers in the UK has found 20mph zones to be effective in reducing the number and severity of traffic collisions and casualties. The research, published in the Journal of Transport and Health provides important evidence to support the implementation of 20mph... Read more →


Hyundai Motor Group (The Group) has developed a new center side airbag that works to separate the space between driver and passenger. The Group will introduce the technology in upcoming vehicles. This new, additional airbag expands into the space between driver and passenger seats to prevent head injuries of passengers... Read more →


General Motors partnered with the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute to understand the real-world effectiveness of some of its available active safety, driver assistance, and advanced headlighting features that may prevent or mitigate different types of crashes. The results show that several of these features are making a statistically... Read more →


On 20 August, the Indonesian-flagged 52,400 dwt bulk carrier Nur Allya, loaded with nickel ore, was reported missing in Indonesian waters. With no word on the fate of the missing crew of 25, INTERCARGO, the International Association of Dry Cargo Shipowners, expressed its concern for the missing crew and its... Read more →


Researchers at MIT, with a colleague from Tsinghua University, have developed a safety envelope for Li-ion batteries in electric vehicles by using a high accuracy finite element model of a pouch cell to produce more than 2,500 simulations and subsequently analyzing the data with Machine Learning (ML) algorithms. The safety... Read more →


Waterloo team uses on-board data to identify speed as the best predictor of car crashes

Speeding is the riskiest kind of aggressive driving, according to an analysis of data from on-board devices in vehicles. Researchers at the University of Waterloo examined data from 28 million trips for possible links between four bad driving behaviors—speeding, hard braking, hard acceleration and hard cornering—and the likelihood of crashes.... Read more →


Bike lanes separated from the roadway by physical barriers—such as parked cars, a curb, landscaping or posts—may make cyclists feel safer and encourage more people to ride. However, a new IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) study shows that protected bike lanes vary in terms of injury risk. Factors such... Read more →


The 2019 Audi e-tron SUV is the first pure battery-electric vehicle to earn the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) 2019 Top Safety Pick+ rating, the highest rating awarded by the nonprofit organization. In developing the e-tron, engineers designed a battery pack with performance, longevity and safety in mind. The... Read more →


The 2019 Hyundai NEXO hydrogen fuel cell electric SUV has earned a TOP SAFETY PICK+ award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) for vehicles built after June 2019. The NEXO, which is only available in California, is the first such hydrogen fuel cell vehicle that IIHS has tested.... Read more →


11 automotive and mobility companies publish framework for safe automated driving systems: SaFAD

Emphasizing safety by design, 11 automotive and automated driving technology companies have published “Safety First for Automated Driving,” (SaFAD), a non-binding organized framework for the development, testing and validation of safe automated passenger vehicles. The 11 companies—Aptiv, Audi, Baidu, BMW, Continental, Daimler, FCA US LLC, HERE, Infineon, Intel and Volkswagen—comprise... Read more →


Lexus Safety System+ now standard equipment across the 2020 Model Year lineup

The Lexus Safety System+ will be a standard feature in all US Lexus vehicles starting with the 2020 model year. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) there were nearly 6.5 million reported crashes in 2017 (the most recent available data) many of which were avoidable. Collisions that... Read more →


NHTSA estimates decrease of ~1% in traffic fatalities in 2018; pedestrian and cyclist fatalities up

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) statistical projection of traffic fatalities for 2018 shows that an estimated 36,750 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes. This represents a slight decrease of about 1.0% as compared to the 37,133 fatalities that were reported to have occurred in 2017. Preliminary data... Read more →


Rutgers study: facial and head injuries from electric scooters “a rising epidemic”

Facial and head injuries from riding electric scooters have tripled over the past decade, according to a Rutgers study. Electric scooter use has been increasing in popularity as a more environmentally friendly and efficient alternative to gasoline vehicles. However, state helmet laws vary, and the study found that many people... Read more →


Hyundai Motor Company is partnering with MDGo, an Israeli start-up specializing in medical artificial intelligence (AI) systems, to help shape the next generation of advanced vehicle safety systems. Hyundai Motor and MDGo will co-develop connected services that bring the worlds of health and automotive closer than ever. MDGo’s intelligent injury... Read more →