Issue: Oct 2011


TRW Demonstrates Advanced Pedestrian Detection System With Automatic Emergency Braking



by Alan Tran

TRW Automotive Holdings is demonstrating its leadership in cognitive, or intelligent, safety systems at a 'ride and drive' event near to Wueschheim, Germany, today. The Company will be showing its latest forward-looking pedestrian detection and accident mitigation system which uses advanced signal processing algorithms to fuse data from video camera and radar sensors, in combination with electronic stability control (ESC), to automatically brake a vehicle and help reduce the severity of a potential pedestrian impact.

Martin Thoone, vice president, electronics engineering at TRW commented: "When vehicles collide with pedestrians, the risk of serious injury or death is very high. According to statistics,(1) a pedestrian has an 85 percent chance of death when involved in a motor vehicle collision at 40mph, a 45 percent chance of death at 30mph and a 5 percent chance of death at 20mph. Active pedestrian detection systems - which can automatically slow the vehicle to reduce the impact speed or even avoid the collision - can therefore help to significantly improve the pedestrian's chance of survival."

TRW's forward-looking pedestrian detection system fuses sensor information from its scalable video camera with its 24 GHz radar data. If a pedestrian is detected in front of the vehicle by the camera and confirmed by the radar, sophisticated risk assessment algorithms are employed to determine the probability of a collision. A warning is issued to the driver and a braking maneuver can be automatically initiated with the aim of slowing the vehicle and reducing the severity of the impact. This is similar to TRW's existing radar based emergency braking system in production today.

Thoone continued: "In addition to vehicle detection, lane detection and traffic sign recognition, the scalable camera provides the capability to detect and track pedestrians at distances of over 40 m, even in challenging urban scenarios - such as multiple pedestrians in crowded cross walks or pedestrians using umbrellas in the rain. By adding a radar device via sensor fusion, the enhanced performance allows full braking at higher speeds."

This new pedestrian detection technology can be combined with TRW's production pedestrian protection safety system which uses sensors mounted at the front of the vehicle to detect an actual pedestrian impact. It can deploy active safety devices including pyrotechnic hood lifters to provide improved pedestrian protection in the event of a collision.

TRW's forward-looking pedestrian collision mitigation system is scheduled for production in 2014 with full braking functionality.

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