IIHS: Pedestrian Detection Systems in Most Mid-Size Vehicles Fail After Dark

IIHS: Pedestrian Detection Systems in Most Mid-Size Vehicles Fail After Dark Drivers should pay attention to pedestrians in All times, but the night can be especially risky for pedestrian collision. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, pedestrian deaths accounted for nearly one-fifth of traffic deaths in 2021, three-quarters of which occurred after dark. Even as more new vehicles use pedestrian detection systems, it has been found that the effectiveness of these systems often fail to operate in the dark. Now, the agency has launched a new crash test to assess AEB’s performance after sunset.

IIHS: Pedestrian Detection Systems in Most Mid-Size Vehicles Fail After Dark

Test after dark

The new IIHS test simulates two scenarios for pedestrians at night: an adult crossing the road and an adult walking along the edge of a road parallel to traffic. For the transit scenario, the vehicle is rated at speeds of 12 and 25 mph, while the parallel test is conducted at 25 and 37 mph. IIHS grades the car based on the average downshift in five tests on dry pavement, and with headlights on high and low beam settings. If the vehicle uses a camera-based system, the rating applies only to models with the same headlights as the tested vehicle as it may affect system performance.



IIHS: Pedestrian Detection Systems in Most Mid-Size Vehicles Fail After Dark

Midsize SUVs and pickups were the first group to be put into the juicer, and the results show there is room for improvement. Of the 23 2022 vehicles tested, only four had the highest, superior rating, and seven had the second highest advanced rating. More than half of the vehicles included in the first round of testing had a basic score or no credit at all (meaning they didn’t perform well enough for a rating).

Tested pedestrian detection systems come standard on all vehicles below except for the Chevrolet Malibu, where they are optional, and Chevrolet Traverse, where they come standard or optional depending on the model.


  • Ford Mustang Mach-E
  • Nissan Pathfinder
  • Toyota Camry
  • Toyota Highlander


  • Honda Accord
  • Hyundai Palisade
  • Hyundai Sonata
  • Nissan Frontier crew cab
  • Nissan Murano
  • Subaru Rise
  • Subaru Outback


  • Chevrolet Traverse
  • Ford Explorer
  • Ford Maverick crew cab
  • Ford Ranger crew cabin
  • Mazda CX-9
  • Volkswagen Atlas
  • Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport
  • Volkswagen Tiguan

there is no credit

  • Chevrolet Malibu
  • Honda Pilot
  • Nissan Altima
  • Toyota Tacoma Crew Cab

Among those that performed poorly in the night test, models such as the Ford Explorer, Ranger, Mazda CX-9, Nissan Altima and Volkswagen Tiguan received higher or advanced dealership scores. day Evaluation, confirming that the darkness of the charges is gaining reliability of pedestrian detection systems.

It was the only car in the group to get the new rating by avoiding pedestrian collisions in the crossing and parallel scenarios at higher and lower speeds. Pedestrian collision avoidance in the two-speed crossing test and in the low-speed parallel test with both headlight settings. While none of the advanced models was able to completely block the effect in the high-speed parallel test, all of them were able to significantly slow down the speed to reduce the effect.

IIHS: Pedestrian Detection Systems in Most Mid-Size Vehicles Fail After Dark

Most models with an advanced rating avoided the pedestrian impact in the crossing scenario at both speeds, as well as the low-speed parallel test, but only with the high beams activated. None of the vehicles in this group were able to avoid collision in the high-speed parallel test.

Although some were able to avoid impact at lower speeds, all of the primary rated models failed to avoid impact with dummy pedestrians at higher crossing speeds and parallel ratings. VW Atlas, Atlas Cross Sport and Tiguan use only a radar system without cameras; Their rating is based on the IIHS daylight rating.

Vehicles that did not receive a rating did not slow down enough – or at all – when approaching a dummy at the crossing and parallel tests. All of these vehicles dummy in every test with low-beam and high-beam headlights.


The immediate takeaway for vehicle owners is that they should not rely solely on their vehicle’s pedestrian detection system, especially at night and in inclement weather that may obstruct the car’s camera system. Shoppers should also note that the new IIHS test will consider the vehicle’s Top Safety Pick award eligibility starting in 2023. A superior or advanced rating on the night test will be required to receive the highest Top Safety Pick Plus award.

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