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Cyclists causing issues for crash avoidance tech

Determining how crash avoidance technologies deal with cyclists is proving quite the quandary for safety experts.

International vehicle safety authorities are developing new United Nations regulations to govern anti-collision auto emergency braking (AEB) standards, however they are struggling to determine how the tech should behave in regards to cyclists.

The predicament lies with whether or not a vehicle should swerve to avoid or brake automatically when a collision with a cyclist is imminent.

As vehicle technology continues to develop, it is considered critical that the regulations surrounding the many complexities of an autonomous landscape are sound.

A group of international experts have submitted a draft proposal to the UN Economical Commission for Europe's working party on autonomous and connected vehicles, which says that cars must be able to avoid a nose-to-tail collision with a stationary vehicle at up to 42km/h in an urban setting, or up to 30km/h in wet conditions.

At higher speeds, the proposal suggests that all vehicles must be able mitigate the collision impact by up to 25km/h, from 60km/h.

Furthermore, cars traveling at up to 30km/h must be able to detect and automatically brake to avoid a pedestrian moving at up to 5km/h, or mitigate the collision if the vehicle is moving faster than 30km/h.

Due to a lack of test data, experts are having a hard time coming to a decision for bicycle crash avoidance, notes attached to the proposal reveal.

Some believe that when a collision with a cyclist riding in the same direction is imminent, a steering correction would do better to avoid an accident than simply braking.

“The usefulness of such a braking test needs to be checked again,” the group states. 

The experts, which include Australian representation, will try to come to an agreement on the issue before its next formal working party in February.

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