Vulnerable Road Users Injury Prevention. While the initiative’s name isn’t all that easy to read – or state – its mission is both noble and needed.
Even the most cautious people are at risk of getting hit by a car on the road. In fact, in 2019, a driver killed a pedestrian every 85 minutes in the United States.
So, to address America’s growing issue with pedestrian deaths, Volkswagen started the Vulnerable Road Users Injury Prevention Alliance (VIPA).
Because the task force gathers research and makes recommendations to protect everyone on the road. And that includes drivers, cyclists, pedestrians, and anyone else.
Vulnerable Road Users Injury Prevention Alliance: Keeping Pedestrians Safe With Science
The VIPA team created two databases to give researchers insight into pedestrian crash data.
So, the first database cross-references police data with hospital accounts of injuries. And the second one reconstructs particular crashes to figure out what happened.
Researchers comb data relating to the circumstances, vehicles involved, and individuals involved to see if any patterns emerge. Then, they compile data to come up with broad solutions for avoiding pedestrian injuries and deaths.
New Car Assessment Program – NCAP
Auto safety researchers have latched onto this data to create solutions for safer roads.
In particular, the 2022 New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) is working with the Alliance to create safety tech inside and outside of vehicles to prevent collisions.
For example, NCAP and the Vulnerable Road Users Injury Prevention Alliance are researching in-car systems that will stop collisions before they occur. Further, they’re analyzing hood design to determine the best shape for avoiding injuries when someone does get hit.
Even small design changes can prevent someone from being seriously hurt in an accident.
Finally, legislation signed in 2021 requires the transportation board to issue notices about collision avoidance technology in modern cars.
In addition to the U.S. government, European officials are also using the VIPA data to protect drivers on their roads.
IQ.DRIVE: VW’s Technology for Safer Roads
VW is ahead of the curve when it comes to protecting everyone on the road.
Along with starting the Vulnerable Road Users Injury Prevention Alliance, VW protects drivers and pedestrians through its IQ.DRIVE technology.
The suite of driver assistance tools includes lane-sensing to avoid drifting while on the road and rear, front, and back collision warnings.
Next, there’s blind-spot monitoring, which lets drivers know if an object is hovering in the driver’s blind spot. IQ.DRIVE also has emergency braking for situations where a driver can’t safely operate the vehicle.
Pedestrian Monitoring: How It Works
To prevent accidents with pedestrians, VW’s IQ.DRIVE suite includes pedestrian monitoring.
This technology scans up to 400 feet ahead of the vehicle and can bring the car to a stop if a driver is traveling between four and 18 miles per hour. At higher speeds, the system will set off an alarm to let drivers know that a person is on the road.
The car brakes on its own to avoid the pedestrian if the driver doesn’t react. Plus, the smart technology can even recognize when the vehicle is in urban settings where accidents are more likely to happen.
The Atlas, Golf, Golf R, Jetta GLI, Passat, and Tiguan all come with the option for IQ.DRIVE.
Cyclists and pedestrians always have to be on high alert around cars since road travel can be unpredictable.
However, the research from the Vulnerable Road Users Injury Prevention Alliance will undoubtedly make roads safer for everyone through advances in technology and policy changes.