Study finds big benefits in embracing vehicle safety tech

Alerting drivers to potential threats through “driver-assist” warning systems has been shown to reduce the odds of a crash. Using cameras or radar, each tool detects potentially dangerous anomalies, such as drifting from a lane, and alerts drivers to the threat.

A study by Carnegie Mellon University researchers published in the journal Accident Analysis and Prevention lays out the costs and benefits of three driver-assist technologies: blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure warning and forward collision warning. The researchers find that, if these warning systems were installed on all cars in the US, the resulting reduction in crashes would put a lot of money back into consumers’ pockets.

“We don’t have to wait for a future with fully self-driving cars to realize a lot of the benefits of sensing and automation,” said Corey Harper, a presidential postdoctoral fellow in Civil and Environmental Engineering, who led the research. “A lot of crashes can be avoided with today’s tech.”