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Centre for Road Safety

Our video explains how collision avoidance technology systems were used in the FleetCAT trial. Read a transcript.

The Road Safety Technology team trialled collision avoidance systems in the NSW state vehicle fleet in 2015. The seven-month trial involved the installation of a camera-based collision warning system into 34 NSW government vehicles from three different agencies. Almost 200 different drivers controlled the vehicles over the trial period, with more than 360,000 kilometres travelled in both urban and rural areas.

The system used audio and video alerts to provide headway monitoring (assessing the gap between cars), lane departure, forward collision and pedestrian collision warnings.

The purpose of the trial was to determine whether the technology could change the driving behaviour of fleet vehicle drivers and improve their safety. The devices were tested in three separate stages over several months. Drivers were also surveyed to assess their behaviour and acceptance of the technology.

Analysis of the data during the trial found that the system resulted in changes in behaviour with increased gaps between vehicle and improved lane keeping, but that these improvements disappeared once the warning alerts were switched off.

The system is capable of altering behaviour, but only when it is actively providing alerts. In-vehicle video footage revealed that more than a quarter of forward collision warnings were false alarms, where a warning event was triggered despite there being no vehicle travelling ahead.

The surveyed drivers recognised that the system could improve safety, but most did not wish to use it themselves, with some finding the device distracting.

A peer reviewed paper on this trial in the can be found on the Science Direct website in the journal Accident Analysis & Prevention.