The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates around 500,000 pedestrians are killed in the development countries, where vehicle populations are growing rapidly, road quality is poor, and driver behaviour is often erratic and poorly regulated. Road crash fatalities are projected to double by 2020.
In Europe, governments are mandating frontal design measures to reduce pedestrian injuries. European NCAP programmes now award points for pedestrian protection performance, and suppliers and OEMs are developing advanced pedestrian protection systems. Japanese and US data show great improvements in vehicle occupant safety, but no improvement for pedestrians, of whom 5,000 lost their lives when struck by cars in the USA and 2,500 in Japan. Neither US nor Japanese regulations address the issue of pedestrian protection in vehicular crashes.
DVN considers that automakers and their suppliers must prioritise pedestrian protection by focusing on pedestrian detection, optimising vehicle front end design, and using advanced pedestrian protection technologies such as bonnet deployment, external airbags and sophisticated, pre-collision pedestrian sensor technologies.