The purpose of this paper is to reveal how technology is being applied to augment drivers' skills and improve road safety throughout Europe.
The paper begins with a description of the European Commission's car safety initiatives, and why they are necessary. Then three driver‐assistance systems are examined in detail: adaptive cruise control, lane departure and lane‐changing systems, and driver vigilance monitoring.
Radar, lidar, and imaging sensors are being used and sometimes fused to build highly intelligent driver assistance equipment. The response of the system is crucial to its acceptance and success: false alarms or over‐violent actuation would lead to rejection. Neither must the system encourage over‐confidence. It is estimated that drowsiness detection could prevent 30 per cent of fatal motorway crashes.
The paper alerts engineers and drivers to a long‐term Europe‐wide project to develop and deploy driver assistance technologies.
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