cens logo

Falling Costs Make Vehicle Active Safety Devices Increasingly Popular

Aug 01, 2011 | By Quincy Liang

Pedestrian Detection with Full Auto Brake can detect pedestrians in front of a car, warn the driver, and automatically activate the car`s full braking power if the driver fails to respond. (photo courtesy Volvo)Pedestrian Detection with Full Auto Brake can detect pedestrians in front of a car, warn the driver, and automatically activate the car`s full braking power if the driver fails to respond. (photo courtesy Volvo)
Thanks to advancements in image-processing, algorithm, and sensing technologies, as well as the falling cost of increasingly-complicated integrated circuit (IC) chips, active safety systems are rapidly gaining popularity. They have spread from luxury limousines only a few years ago to medium- to higher-end cars today.

Collision warning systems, for example, began to appear in top-of-the-line vehicles around 2003; now, some collision mitigation features are becoming available on higher-volume 2011 models. While early devices focused on high-speed crashes, the latest innovations are designed to avoid collisions at low speeds – less than 21 miles per hour – as well. One of the latest examples of this technology is seen in the Pedestrian Detection system on the new Volvo S60.

Braking for Pedestrians
The Volvo S60 is packed with high-tech solutions that actively help the driver avoid accidents, and its Pedestrian Detection with Full Auto Brake is a world first. Volvo claims that to its knowledge, no other car manufacturer offers a feature that can avoid collisions with pedestrians.

This radar- and camera-based system can detect pedestrians in front of the car, warn if anyone walks into its path, and then automatically activate the car's full braking power if the driver fails to respond in time.

Pedestrian accidents occur every day in our increasingly intensive traffic environments. In Europe, 14% of all traffic fatalities are pedestrians. The corresponding figure for the USA is 11%, but in China it rises to a worrying 26%.

Volvo's Pedestrian Detection with Full Auto Brake System is an improvement over the company's older Collision Warning with Auto Brake technology, consisting of a newly developed radar unit that is integrated into the car's grille, a camera that is fitted in front of the interior rear-view mirror, and a central control unit. The radar's task is to detect any object in front of the car and to determine the distance to it. The camera determines what type of object it is.

The system can also respond to vehicles that are stopped in front or that are moving in the same direction as the car fitted with the system.

Thanks to the radar's wide field of vision, pedestrians about to step into the roadway can also be detected early on. The camera has a higher resolution than the previous-generation unit, making it possible to detect a pedestrian's pattern of movement. According to Volvo, the auto-brake system requires that the object be confirmed by both the radar and the camera.

In an emergency situation, the driver of a car with Pedestrian Detection with Full Auto Brake first receives an audible warning combined with a flashing light in the windscreen’s heads-up display. (photo courtesy Volvo)In an emergency situation, the driver of a car with Pedestrian Detection with Full Auto Brake first receives an audible warning combined with a flashing light in the windscreen’s heads-up display. (photo courtesy Volvo)
In an emergency situation the driver first receives an audible warning combined with a flashing light—resembling a brake light, to generate an immediate intuitive reaction--in the windscreen's heads-up display. At the same time, the car's brakes are pre-charged. If the driver does not react to the warning and an accident is imminent, full braking power is automatically applied. This technology has the same limitations as the human eye, however, and just like us it "sees" less well in the dark and in poor weather.

Pedestrian Detection with Full Auto Brake can avoid a collision with a pedestrian at speeds of up to 35 km/h. At higher speeds, the focus is on reducing the car's speed by as much as 25 km/h prior to the impact.

Up to 90% of all road accidents are caused by distractions, and half of all drivers that hit another vehicle from behind do not brake at all prior to the collision. Therefore, Volvo's new models will also detect, alert the driver, and automatically brake if the car risks hitting another vehicle from behind.

Increasingly Affordable
"Pedestrian detection until recently was only available as a feature of the latest night vision systems," commented David Alexander, a principal analyst at ABI Research, "but now we are seeing lower-cost technology introduced that uses cameras and/or lidar (light detection and ranging) sensors. We project that by 2016 the lower costs will play a big part in increasing volumes and [will] push the global pedestrian detection market value to more than US$17 billion."

The core component for high-speed crash avoidance is still the radar sensor, ABI Research noted. With Freescale Semiconductor's announcement in November 2010 that its Xtrinsic chipset was going into production, automotive radar sensors will start to benefit from the efficiency of the latest complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) manufacturing techniques and costs are expected to fall even as functionality is improved.

"We also expect collision warning systems to become increasingly available and affordable on higher-volume models," said Larry Fisher, research director at NextGen. "The combination of adaptive cruise control and collision mitigation, which share some of the same components, is likely to be an attractive option."

ABI Research lamented that it still sees no government plans for financial incentives to encourage investment in active safety systems, while large sums (a subsidy of US$7,500 for a Nissan Leaf in the United States, for example) are being provided to promote electric vehicle (EV) technology.

A subsidy of 5%-10% of that amount would make a huge difference in the number of vehicles with collision mitigation, which in a few years will likely bring about a significant reduction in the overall number of traffic accidents, ABI indicated.


Industry In-Focus

Auto terminal and EV charging gun maker notes optimistic market ahead</h2>

Auto terminal and EV charging gun maker notes optimistic market ahead

Mar 28, 2022

Electrical terminal, wiring and connector maker K.S. Terminals Inc. expects order visibility to reach Q2, amid strong growth in the EV market as reported at its earnings call last week. The company is looking at two-digit growth for this year's goal, eying significant demand from green energy selections and automotive terminals and charging guns for electric vehicles, notably the latter. In the...


Photo credit: UDN

February manufacturing index breaks records in consecutive 25-month stretch

Mar 24, 2022

The Ministry of Economic Affairs said today that in February, the industrial production index was 117.49, with an annual increase of 10.01% due to easing supply chain disruptions and chip shortages. This marks the 25-month consecutive positive growth period, also the second-longest in history. The manufacturing index was 119.76, an annual increase of 10.16%, which set a new high for the same ...


Furniture industry to see lasting change in digitalized era</h2>

Furniture industry to see lasting change in digitalized era

Mar 18, 2022

If there's a keyword that can be used to summarize the past two years, it would be “digitalization.” Across different industries, companies and suppliers are seeking ways to tap into the post-COVID market, and the furniture sector is no different. Here are two trends we've identified that would and continue to shape the market in the coming year and more. Going Digital While the typical con...



Industry Reports

C85690 forgeable lead-free dezincification resistant brass-made plumbing valve spool. (Forged product) Photo credit: MIRDC

Eco-friendly materials continue to trend amid global industry change

Mar 25, 2022

Industries are focusing on new technologies for better environmental sustainability and to promote the overall protection and safety of consumers. The same is trending in Taiwan's hardware and plumbing sector. Companies and consumers are becoming more and more aware of the long-term impact of pollutive materials on natural resources, and as policies and regulations are changed in other crucial ma...


Toyota's new energy vehicle model. Photo credit: UDN/Reuters

Auto brands and chip makers step up alliances in EV era

Mar 25, 2022

Japanese automotive brand Toyota's recent announcement of reducing production in March due to chip shortages is another setback for the company, as this would not be its first time scaling back capacity in the past two years. Earlier, Toyota had also announced that the chip shortages had slashed the group's production goals from April to June. However, Economic Daily News points out that Toyot...


ARTC and industry supplier representatives show the signed MOU, signifying the alliance's creation. (Photo courtesy of ARTC)

ARTC and Automotive Electronic Industry Reps Ink AI Imagery Chip and Smart Cockpit Alliance

Mar 18, 2022

Top automotive electronic suppliers and Taiwan's leading R&D center in autonomous technology and testing, Automotive Research and Testing Center (ARTC), collectively announced the formation of the “Automotive AI Imagery Chip and Smart Cockpit Display Module Industry Alliance" on March 18. Representatives from Elan Microelectronics, AU Optronics, Chimei Motor, China Motor, RAC Electric Vehicles...



Supplier News

Steel Mark well-recognized as reliable supplier of lock products</h2>

Steel Mark well-recognized as reliable supplier of lock products

Mar 25, 2022

Founded in 1981, Steel Mark is specialized in manufacturing locks and other related hardware. The company's product catalog includes padlocks, motorcycle and bike locks, deadbolt locks, digital door locks, door locks, rim and euro profile cylinders, and concerning hardware and parts. The company currently operates modern manufacturing facilities occupying 3,300 square meters with more than 40...

STEEL MARK ENTERPRISE LTD.


Wire Master's quest for quality and innovation puts them at industry top</h2>

Wire Master's quest for quality and innovation puts them at industry top

Mar 18, 2022

In the face of an ever-competitive global market and pressured by rising costs, Wire Master Industry believes the best chance of increasing its competitiveness is improving product quality and investing more into R&D. This allows Wire Master to be in a prime position to stake a good position in the market. Wire Master is looking to develop long-term partnerships with similar values and focus on p...

WIRE MASTER INDUSTRY CO., LTD.


CM-667 children's chair in Pink. (Photo courtesy of Kuang Shin)

Designing Furniture for Children's Future

Mar 18, 2022

Since the founders' humble beginnings in the 1960s, traveling from his hometown in Chiayi County to urban Taipei City to learn a trade, he has dedicated the eventually-formed Kuang Shin Enterprise to providing quality products. Kuang Shin offers children's desks and chairs, computer chairs, furniture hardware, OA office chair and desks, connected chairs, display shelves, chair bases, and parts...

KUANG SHIN ENTERPRISE CO., LTD.



Insiders' Views

Nan Hoang Traffic Instrument Co., Ltd.</h2><p class='subtitle'>Taiwan First brakes Technology Co., Ltd. </p>

Nan Hoang Traffic Instrument Co., Ltd.

Taiwan First brakes Technology Co., Ltd.

Mar 04, 2021

Nan Hoang Traffic Instrument Co., Ltd is one of the major manufacturers of automobile friction materials in Taiwan and globally. Chairman Austin Cheng has implemented the double-arrow strategy this year - own brand of “YangPo” is adopted to focus on global channels while the “NHC brand focuses on improving market shares in global markets, such as Europe, America, Asia, Australia, and the Middle E...

NAN HOANG TRAFFIC INSTRUMENT CO., LTD.


OmniEyes CEO and Co-Founder Chun-Ting Chou. (Photo courtesy of OmniEyes)

OmniEyes' AI Technology Paves the Way for Traditional Industries' Digital Transition

Dec 15, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the industries' timeline for implementing digital transformation. However, the how's and what's of applying new technologies and improving the added value to existing products and services can be daunting. Three professors from the National Taiwan University College of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science founded the startup company "OmniEyes," basi...


Caption: Pictured from front row, third right, Changhua County Government Economic Affairs Department Director Liu Yu-ping, County Magistrate Wang Huei-mei, Secretary Chen Bo-tsun pose in front of the exhibition booth. (Photo provided by CHCIA)

Changhua County Government Shores up Biz-Matching to Global Buyers

Nov 18, 2019

■Yang Feng-Chun In a bid to assist manufacturers in Changhua County to expand their market reach overseas against severe competition in the globalized market, Changhua County Government has been an active player in pushing for a makeover and innovation of its local small and medium-sized enterprises. This is done in hopes of establishing stronger connection with international markets. An ex...



Exhibition Highlights

Show grounds at the 2022 Smart City & IoT expo. Photo credit: UDN

Smart City & IoT expo kicks off showcasing energy solutions

Mar 23, 2022

The 2022 Smart City and IoT exhibition kicked off on March 22, featuring top Taiwanese brands showcasing related applications in the sector. It is worth noting that in addition to 5G-related extension and other mainstream smart city applications, energy storage has become a highlight at this show, notably, TECO, Far EasTone, and Gogoro all have offered relative solutions. According to statisti...


2022 Smart City Summit & Expo to kick off on Tuesday</h2>

2022 Smart City Summit & Expo to kick off on Tuesday

Mar 21, 2022

With the 2022 Smart City Summit & Expo scheduled to kick off on Tuesday at the Nangang Exhibition Center Hall 2 from March 22 to March 25, and Kaohsiung Exhibition Center from March 24 to 26, exhibitors are quickly rolling out new products for this year, including TECO Group. In the past few years, TECO has exhibited at the show exhibiting the group's subsidiaries, concentrating on AI, IoT, n...


TIMTOSxTMTS 2022 kicks off on Monday's opening ceremony. Photo credit: Chao Ting Yu/CENS

TIMTOSxTMTS 20222 Mega Show kicks off at Nangang with 950-strong exhibitors

Feb 22, 2022

TIMTOS x TMTS 2022, the first international trade show and the first of its kind on the calendar, kicked off this Monday, with Taiwan Association of Machinery Industry (TAMI) Chairman Larry Wei pointing out that business orders generated from the mega show are expected to hit USD$$1.7 billion (NTD$47 billion). President Tsai said that in the face of the impacts caused by the pandemic, as well ...