Actively Leveraging the Potential of Automated Driving

Following a period of historically low traffic fatalities in 2020 – largely thanks to the pandemic – many countries have seen their numbers increase again.

In 2020, 18,800 people in the European Union (EU) died in road crashes, while in 2021 it was 19,900, and in 2022 around 22,600, which brings the figure more or less back to where it was in 2019. There is no doubt that the long-term trend is a positive one, but there is still a lot that must be done if we are to achieve our ambitious targets of halving the number of traffic fatalities in the EU by 2030 and eliminating them altogether by 2050, if possible. In the context of “Vision Zero,” a strategy that is gaining traction internationally, it is now more important than ever that everyone use all available opportunities in the best way possible to further improve road safety.
Given that 90 percent of accidents are caused by human error, leveraging the potential of technology and, in particular, the systems used in connected and automated driving will be key. Equipping vehicles with relevant assistance systems and designing them to communicate with one another and the road infrastructure will help detect and avoid dangerous situations early on and prevent accidents – or at least mitigate their consequences. Assistance systems, however, do not relieve drivers of their responsibility. Ultimately, it is always the human behind the wheel who has responsibility for the vehicle.