The extent to which humans and technology are interwoven in road traffic has once again been put under the microscope in this year’s DEKRA Road Safety Report. Just as a reminder: in 2012, we dedicated an entire report to this complex topic. For example, no matter how useful the technology may be, it must never be allowed to distract, or even overwhelm, the driver. As a fundamental rule, assistance systems must be easy for everyone to use. Using them must not create additional risks or hazards that undermine the success achieved through implementation of road safety measures. The fact that this is a very real risk has been shown in both a forsa survey commissioned by DEKRA and a human subject research study conducted by DEKRA, the results of which will be presented in detail in this report.
Another important aspect to ensure is that any systems installed for assisted and automated driving, as well as the safety-relevant mechanical components, function reliably for the entire service life of the vehicle. Only then will they be able to achieve their desired effect. Periodical technical inspections (PTI), which many countries around the world have been conducting for many years now, will therefore become even more important in future than they already are today – given the higher complexity of vehicle systems and the risk of electronic manipulation.
The DEKRA Road Safety Report 2023 shines a light on several problem areas in terms of the human-machine interface from the perspective of accident research, traffic psychology, vehicle technology, infrastructure design, and legislation. I am particularly pleased that renowned national and international experts have once again agreed to provide statements, in which they report on their respective experiences and any measures taken. These statements complement our own expertise and further underscore how relevant our report is in specialist circles. I hope you find this report a stimulating read.