As the automotive industry continues to evolve, substantial technological developments are being made in the field of collision avoidance systems (CAS). While these systems are primarily designed to improve road safety, they can also help reduce the cost of automobile maintenance.
Collision avoidance systems are innovative pieces of advanced driver assistance technology designed to prevent or at least mitigate potential collisions. They warn drivers of an impending collision and in some cases actively assist the driver in averting the collision.
The potential financial benefits of such systems to a business with a fleet of any size are considerable. Vehicle maintenance is one of the greatest expenses of any fleet, and collision avoidance systems can mitigate the financial setbacks and logistical nightmares that accompany collisions on the job, hopefully by making sure they do not occur in the first place.
Preventing collisions naturally saves the direct costs of car repairs and replacement vehicles, but it also helps prevent indirect costs, which can be just as severe. These include losing the business of key customers and the expenses spent on the administrative workforce required to deal with the outcome of said collisions. [Potential human costs? Damages if at fault ?]
Another unexpected way that collision avoidance systems contribute to reduced car maintenance costs is in fuel savings. Sudden braking and rapid acceleration are not only commonplace reactions to a perceived road hazard, but they’re also factors in added fuel consumption. Mobileye’s CAS tirelessly scans the road for potentially dangerous situations, for example alerting drivers of unsafe distance between themselves and the vehicle ahead, allowing for smoother, more fuel-efficient braking.
There are other methods of mitigating the cost of collisions available to fleets: implementing a company-wide culture of safety, extensive driver training, and utilizing telematics are but a few. What makes collision avoidance systems unique among these methods is that they provide a measurable, road-tested, rapidly improving means of directly addressing the issue of workforce accidents.
Collision avoidance systems have been around since the 1950s, and yet mass-market implementation of CAS technology in vehicle manufacturing only rose to prominence in the mid-90s. The following years were characterized by a growing interest in aftermarket, retrofit CAS technology.
Retrofit systems like Mobileye 8 Connect™, as opposed to OEM equipment, can be fitted to a fleet’s already-existing vehicle roster. This makes them a viable, cost-effective alternative to OEM equipment. The growing market for retrofit CAS technology called for a surge in technological innovation and the recent breakthroughs in machine learning were deemed both pertinent and applicable to real-life CAS products.
Artificial intelligence (AI) became a primary means of polishing collision detection. These systems employed a wide variety of technical tools including radar systems, lidar systems, and exceptionally adept cameras to gather data and sensory input from their ever-changing surroundings. The role of AI within these was to analyze all the incoming data and determine by means of calculation whether an object constitutes a potential collision. That much holds true to this day.
One of the most often discussed advances in AI has to do with the recent emergence of Deep Learning and Deep Neural Networks (DNN) as prevalent forms of machine learning, as opposed to traditional machine learning methods. These new forms of AI utilize expansive algorithmic networks to analyze unstructured data, and they have been discovered to be far more potent and accurate than their predecessors.
This has made a world of difference in collision detection. Oncoming pedestrians, potential forward collisions, vehicles departing from their lanes, unsafe headway distances, speed limits, and blind spots – utilizing these new forms of AI, Mobileye’s collision avoidance systems have become that much more adept at recognizing and analyzing these phenomena.
The incorporation of state-of-the-art telematics and systematic tracking and recording of vehicles into collision avoidance marks another great leap in CAS technology. Mobileye 8 Connect and the Mobileye Connect Platform utilize telematics to document a wide range of vehicle statistics, providing fleet managers with invaluable information pertaining to driver safety.
This information can promote the production of in-depth driver behavior reports, which are, in turn, an important tool in facilitating a culture of safe driving.
While the prospect of investing in fleet-wide collision avoidance technology may seem daunting, it is clear that collision avoidance systems provide fleet managers with an extensive range of tools, both practical and analytical, to strengthen the safety of their fleets and reduce the total cost of fleet maintenance.