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Centre for Road Safety

Sensors warn drivers


Collision avoidance technology systems use multiple sensors to provide a driver with information about the immediate environment surrounding the vehicle. These systems are able to sense other vehicles and road users, including pedestrians and bicycle riders, or objects near the vehicle. Audio and visual alerts help drivers to avoid potential crashes.

Some collision avoidance systems interact with the operation of the vehicle, such as autonomous emergency braking, where a vehicle’s brakes may be applied independently of the driver. Other systems alert the driver, providing warnings on potential dangers including:

  • Forward crashes (nose to tail crashes)
  • Pedestrians and bicycle riders
  • Lane departure
  • Headway monitoring (vehicles travelling in front of the driver).

Safety benefit

Collision avoidance systems have the potential to reduce fatal crashes by 30 per cent and injury crashes by 40 per cent. ANCAP research that draws on real-world crash data suggests that up to 38 per cent of rear-end crashes could be prevented if this technology is coupled with automated braking systems.

Our FleetCAT trial in the NSW state vehicle fleet helped evaluate the safety benefits of collision avoidance systems.