1996-12-01

An Evaluation of Electronic Pedestrian Detection Systems for School Buses 960518

Most fatalities due to school bus accidents involve pedestrians being struck by the bus. All too frequently the school bus strikes a disembarking passenger because the driver was unaware of their presence near the bus.To try to prevent this type of accident, two Doppler microwave radar-based pedestrian detection systems have been developed and are commercially available. These systems supplement regular school bus mirrors. They operate only while the bus is stationary. Both systems detect moving pedestrians either directly in front of or to the right of the bus.The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has performed a three-part evaluation of these pedestrian detection systems. The first part measured the field of view of each system's sensors. The second part evaluated the effectiveness and appropriateness of each system's driver interface. The third part was a small-scale operational evaluation. The systems were installed on school buses to obtain driver and student reactions. Results from these evaluations are presented.

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