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This Ford Fusion autonomous vehicle is being used to test smart car technology at Ohio State University’s Automated Driving Lab.
Smart car technology is already in cars coming off assembly lines, although much of it is on higher priced vehicles. Things like automatic emergency braking, backup cameras, lane departure warning and forward collision warning are expected to be on an increasing number of vehicles in coming years.
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“Right now is one of the most disruptive times that has ever faced the automotive and mobility industry,” said Joanna Pinkerton, chief operating officer of the Transportation Research Center in East Liberty, which is working with the state of Ohio and Ohio State University on smart car research.
“Our highways and our cars have been roughly the same for about 100 years and all of a sudden we see opportunity to ….reduce fatalities and to reduce congestion and to reduce pollution through new technologies.”
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Joanna Pinkerton, chief operating officer at Transportation Research Center
Crash avoidance features are already making vehicles safer and crash injuries less severe, according to a 2016 Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) study of vehicles with front crash prevention technology.
The study used U.S. police reported crash data and found that automatic braking reduced rear-end crashes by 40 percent on average. Rear-end crashes were reduced by 23 percent when vehicles that had forward collision warning systems, the IIHS study found.
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Successful test of autonomous test on Ohio highways
“As this technology becomes more widespread we can expect to see noticeably fewer rear-end collisions,” David Zuby, IIHS chief research officer, said in a safety report.
This week this newspaper takes a close look at the drive to replace today’s conventional cars with autonomous vehicles.
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