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Investigation reveals that semi driver, not automatic braking, saved child from collision

Sven Gustafson

Earlier this week we brought you a dash-cam video of a harrowing near-collision between a child who darted out into traffic on a busy country road and an approaching semi. It was thought to be an illustration of the effectiveness of Volvo's autonomous Automatic Emergency Braking technology.

Turns out, the miraculous miss is down to simple heads-up human reaction.

In a Facebook post, Latvian logistics firm Kreiss said it investigated the incident in concert with Volvo to determine exactly what, or who, prevented the calamity.

"The investigation revealed that in this particular situation, which happened on 19 June 2017 in Herad in the south of Gol municipality in Norway, it was 100% human reaction," the company writes. "The report shows that distance between the truck and the child, who suddenly appeared on the road, was critically short. Moreover, the small-height child was running and appeared on the road unexpectedly. Thus, in that particular situation, it was impossible for the Volvo FH emergence braking system to recognize the child as an obstacle, and stop urgently. From the above stated, it could be concluded, that it was the truck driver, who managed to evaluate situation accordingly, his prompt reaction and immediate action that prevented the accident from happening."

Kreiss goes on to credit Volvo engineers "who developed the innovative technical features" of the Automatic Emergency Braking system, but also cites the truck's low-rolling resistance tires and the "great performance of our driver and specialists of our training department" for the near miss.

Kreiss' full post is embedded below. The video also shows that the child made a critical decision to change direction and pivot away from the braking, oncoming rig at the last moment. It's a good lesson in why it's so important not to dart out from behind a stopped bus.

Investigation reveals that semi driver, not automatic braking, saved child from collision originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 16 Nov 2017 12:30:00 EST.