You Will Have Automatic Emergency Braking by 2022

Automatic emergency braking will be coming your way! The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety announced that automakers have joined to commit to offering this feature in all automobiles by 2022. The group of automakers covers 99% of the vehicles on the road in the United States today.

What is Automatic Emergency Braking? ZF TRW provides a full explanation of this forward-thinking technology:

“Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) combines advanced driver assist systems and Electronic Stability Control to slow the vehicle and potentially mitigate the severity of an impact when a collision is unavoidable. ZF TRW offers solutions for city driving and higher speed situations.
AEB works with or without driver intervention by combining data from forward-looking radar and video systems to provide a complete, accurate and real-time image of the road ahead. AEB can utilize long-range radar (LRR) or mid-range radar (MRR) in combination with a scalable video camera.
Next, brake pressure is applied automatically, providing maximum brake boost immediately once the driver does engage the brakes.
If a driver’s steering and braking intervention is not enough to avoid a collision, autonomous emergency braking with maximum brake pressure will be applied to help mitigate the impact. This final action is realized as full ABS braking, and it ensures maximum speed reduction. AEB is the highest escalation step for a safety system to react to a critical situation.” takes the explanation one step further and brakes AEB systems down into three types:

  • Low Speed system – this version targets city driving where crashes often occur at low speeds but can cause debilitating injury such as whiplash injuries. Typically, these systems look for the reflectivity of other vehicles and are not as sensitive to pedestrians or roadside objects.
  • Higher Speed system – this version typically utilises long range radar to scan further ahead of the vehicle (up to 200 metres) at higher speeds.
  • Pedestrians – these versions use a camera combined with radar to detect vulnerable road users through their shape and characteristics. The way in which pedestrians move relative to the path of the vehicle is calculated to determine whether they are in danger of being struck.

These three systems of AEB are not mutually exclusive, and there are vehicles that may have two or more versions. It is important to note that within each type of system there will also be variation in functionality depending on the manufacturer and even car model (in terms of warnings, braking function, time-to-collision, etc.,).

AEB systems are currently available in some countries in select models. gathered current research on the effectiveness of these systems and found: Of the real world data available (Schittenhelm, 2013), the results indicate that:
“53% of all rear-end collisions could be mitigated in crash severity
35% of rear-end crashes could be avoided completely. In addition, an Australian AEB simulation project estimates that AEB has the potential to reduce fatal crashes by 20-25% and injury crashes by 25-35% (Anderson, Doecke, Mackenzie & Ponte, 2013). Research utilising insurance claims data have also found that forward collision avoidance systems, especially those that brake autonomously, showed the biggest claim reductions of 10-14% (Moore & Zuby, 2013).”

According to a March 18, 2016, article by USA Today, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety “estimates the deal will prevent 28,000 crashes and 12,000 injuries” in a three-year period. Another anticipated benefit of this record-breaking deal? Lower insurance rates. Now that’s something that every driver will welcome.

Automakers joining in the deal include Audi, BMW, Fiat Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar Land Rover, Kia, Maserati, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Porsche, Subaru, Tesla, Toyota, Volkswagen, and Volvo.

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