Pedestrian Detection Safety Feature: My Car Does What

Pedestrian Detection

Uses advanced sensors to detect human movements; some versions may urgently apply the brakes if the driver fails to respond.

What It Does

What It Does: Alerts the driver or automatically brakes if there is a pedestrian in the path between a certain speed range—generally around 25 mph.

What It Does Not Do: Steer.

Share the Road Safely

Quick Guide

1. Scan

Scan the path ahead.

2. Focus

Always look for cars, objects and people.

3. Know

Know your system. Listen, and look for dashboard warnings.

How it works


Uses advanced sensors to detect human movements ahead and alert the driver. Some may automatically apply the brakes.


Stereoscopic cameras mounted behind the rearview mirror and radar have become effective at detecting the more subtle movements of people.

These systems are more effective at slower speeds. Pedestrian Detection may not always be able to help avoid a collision, but this feature can help reduce the speed enough to make the impact more survivable. As research progresses, infrared technology is being added to improve performance, especially at night.


Always scan the road and horizon ahead looking for pedestrians. Read the owner’s manual so you understand:

  • exactly how you will be warned if the system detects a pedestrian.
  • how your car may respond (e.g. automatic braking).


  • Systems like Pedestrian Detection are not a replacement for an attentive driver.
  • Always scan the road and area ahead, not just the cars in front of you.
  • Remember, you as a driver can’t always predict what a person, especially a child, standing on a curb might do. A computer can’t predict this either.
  • Twilight and dusk are among the most dangerous times for pedestrians and drivers. We think we can still see as though it’s daytime, but vision is greatly reduced during these hours.



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