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The effectiveness of a rearview camera and parking sensor system alone and combined for preventing a collision with an unexpected stationary or moving object

Kidd, David G.; Hagoski, Bradly K.; Tucker, Tia G.; Chiang, Dean P.
Human Factors
June 2015

Objective: This study measured the effectiveness of a parking sensor system, a rearview camera, and a sensor system combined with a camera for preventing a collision with a stationary or moving child-size object in the path of a backing vehicle.
Background: An estimated 15,000 people are injured and 210 are killed every year in backover crashes involving light vehicles. Cameras and sensor systems may help prevent these crashes.
Method: The sample included 111 drivers (55 men, 56 women), including 16 in the no-technology condition, 32 in the sensor condition, 32 in the camera condition, and 31 in the camera-plus-sensor condition. A stationary or moving child-size object was surreptitiously deployed in the path of participants backing out of a parking stall.
Results: A significantly smaller proportion of participants in the camera condition hit the stationary object compared with participants in the no-technology condition; however, this benefit was greatly reduced when the stationary object was partially or completely in the shade. Significantly fewer participants hit the moving object than the stationary object. The percentage of participants in the sensor, camera, and cameraplus-sensor conditions who hit the moving object was not different from the no-technology condition.
Conclusion: The camera was the only technology that was effective for preventing collisions with the stationary object. The variation in collision outcomes between the stationary- and moving-object conditions illustrates how the effectiveness of these technologies is dependent on the backing situation.
Application: This research can help the selection and development of countermeasures to prevent backovers.