Estimated assessment of the potential impact of driver-assistance systems used in automated vehicles on the level of road safety in Poland

Strengthening road safety in the face of the enormous development of the automotive in recent decades is crucial. The safety benefits of automated vehicles are paramount. Automated vehicles have the potential to remove human error in road traffic, which will help protect drivers and passengers, as well as pedestrians and bicyclists. The carried-out forecasts are pioneering for Polish road traffic conditions. In England, studies have been carried out to determine the estimated impact of autonomous vehicles on road safety in simulated traffic conditions on the motorway. In Poland, preliminary forecasts of the reduction in the number of road accidents were made; however, they were based on other assumptions. Therefore, estimating the impact of using autonomous vehicles in order to increase the level of road safety is an innovative activity for Polish road conditions. For the purposes of this article, available statistical data on vehicles registered in Poland, their equipment with advanced driver-assistance systems as well as accident data and their causes were analyzed. A diagnosis of Road Safety in Poland in 2018 (base year for further estimations) was made, taking into account the trend of recent years together with an indication of the most common causes of road accidents. These data were compiled with statistical data from other countries about the influence of driver support systems on traffic safety. Possible potential for increasing Road Safety in Poland by the year 2030 was estimated. The analyses were prepared assuming different types of processes related to traffic, road safety, and the recent development of the passenger car fleet in Poland. Presented results show four scenarios of road safety change, where the number of accidents is reduced with statistical average of 5000 reduction in the year 2030. These expectations are based on various predictable factors connected with upgrade of car fleet quality and take into account changes in road safety observed in recent years. Based on the current trend of driving automation and rapid development of driver-support systems, the provided estimations were found reliable and likely. The conducted research shows the benefits and the need for the use of driver-assistance systems in vehicles as they can measurably affect the level of road safety.

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