It’s a grim thought but, on average, someone dies every minute somewhere in the world as a result of a traffic accident. 

Research has shown that driver error is one of the most common causes of traffic accidents. Driver assistance technologies can therefore provide a vital helping hand in times of trouble.
A new report from just-auto highlights developments in this fast-moving sector.

A number of manufacturers are pursuing the aim of reducing the frequency and severity of accidents by developing active and passive Driving Assistance Systems (DAS). 

According to Bosch, driver assistance systems aim to make the vehicle capable of perceiving its surroundings, interpret them, identify critical situations, and assist the driver in performing driving manoeuvres.  The objective is, at best, to prevent accidents completely and, at worst, to minimise the consequences of an accident for those concerned. 

The continuous development of driver assistance systems in Europe is accompanied by the European Union’s eSafety action programme for road safety which aims to halve the number of road fatalities by 2010. 

Driver assistance systems on the detection and analysis of the vehicle’s surroundings will make a major contribution to the achievement of this aim. 

Investigations carried out by the German ministry of transport have shown that such systems can have a preventive influence on more than 50% of all accidents.

The most common suite of driver assistance technologies available today includes adaptive cruise control (ACC), lane departure warning systems, and parking assistance systems.

just-auto editor Dave Leggett observed: “Drivers may still be wary of systems that take control away from the driver, but they will become more familiar with innovations that offer increased safety. And safety is, of course, a concern that the automotive industry can directly address with DAS. Our research shows that this technology will be increasingly cascading down to mass-market segments.”  

See also: Global market review of driver assistance systems – forecasts to 2014 (download)