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Huawei-Seres car crash sparks safety argument

2024-04-29 Editor : Mo Honge ECNS App Download

(ECNS) -- An AITO M7 Plus running at 115 kph crashed into a water truck on a highway fast lane last Friday in Yuncheng, Shanxi Province, claiming three lives.

Online footage shows three people trying to break in from the backseat window to get the injured out while the front part of the car burst into flames and deformed from the crash.

Aito said data from the vehicle showed it was operating at a speed of 115 kph at the time of Friday's accident, adding that the airbag opened normally and readings from the battery pack were normal.

A family member of the deceased subsequently complained about the inactive Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) which was supposed to prevent a collision or reduce its severity.

She also questioned whether a water truck driving at such a low speed should be allowed in the highway fast lane, where the speed limit is no less than 100 kph, as stipulated by law.

AITO, meaning "Adding Intelligence to Auto," was made by Seres Group, with Huawei providing technology for the vehicle and help with marketing.

AEB Argument

AITO released a statement Sunday to express condolence to the crash victims. It also announced later that the involved AITO M7 Plus, different from the AITO M7 Max, uses an AEB package from Bosch functional when the driving speed is between 4-85 kph. The 115 kph in this case is beyond the effective reach of AEB on the car.

But Bosch denied the application of its intelligent driving system, AEB included, on the involved car.

AEB uses sensors or radar to detect potential collisions. But "when there is a significant speed difference or stationary object, the millimeter-wave radar may not detect vehicles ahead," reads the AITO M7 Max user manual.

Controversial integrated door handles

For a sleek and fashionable look, many smart cars are designed with door handles integrated into the car's body. But in emergency cases, this can add obstacles to rescue work.

The door handle is only part of the difficulty. If the car is locked, there is no way for a stranger to open it from outside, even with protruding handles.

So, the problem lies in automatically unlocking the car during an accident, described in the user manualof AITO M7 as “when the car is damaged to a certain severity, it will be automatically unlocked.”

But somehow, this didn’t work.

So far, it’s not clear who’s to blame, but some netizens agree that drivers should always pay attention while driving a car.

“I’ll never hand over control of my life and my car to smart driving,” said a car engineer in an article. "The driver always shoulders the first responsibility while driving." 

The AITO M7 was launched last September, boasting a security assurance that ranges from passive safety, cell safety, physical health and privacy protection.


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