In its most basic form, active safety is about avoiding collisions and other incidents before they happen. Accidents can be possible to avoid by combining sensor technology, vehicle communication and on-board computers, enabling vehicles to communicate both with each other and with their surroundings. When cars get smarter they can compensate for the human factor that is the main cause of traffic accidents. For example, a car can be braked automatically if it approaches an obstacle at too high a speed, and automatic systems can take control if the car goes into a skid.
Active safety systems work in the opposite manner to passive safety systems, such as safety belts and airbags, as these have been developed to provide protection when a collision has already occurred.
In order to maintain and improve today’s safety, cars will increasingly be required to have active safety systems, although passive safety systems are not likely to disappear, but rather become a complement to the new technology.
AstaZero has identified a number of areas within active safety which will be central to future research and development.