Automatic emergency braking increasingly the norm

As recently as five years ago, automatic emergency braking was more of a luxury than a standard feature on all-new vehicles. Fast forward to today and car buyers have plenty of choices to select from that boast the technology, as literally dozens of models feature this all-important safety component.

From Audi to Volkswagen, automatic emergency braking is a performance characteristic that automakers are including in their lineup of vehicles. When AEB was initially introduced, it was mainly luxury brands that installed the technology, such as BMW, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz and Peugenot. However, in part because the tech works so well, nameplates like Mazda, Toyota, Nissan and Ford now have AEB as well, installed in many different models.

The more frequent inclusion of AEB isn't a coincidence, as safety officials have urged car manufacturers to invest in the safety feature. Indeed, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration once likened AEB to "the next wave of potential significant advances in vehicle safety."

NHTSA isn't the only governing body that is a staunch advocate. As reported by The Associated Press, the United Nations has urged all countries that develop automobiles to mandate the installation of automatic braking systems. So far, 40 nations have agreed, among them Japan, France, Germany, Italy, Ireland and the Netherlands. In fact, all E.U. member countries have signed on.

"Some of the best-selling automakers in the U.S. have agreed to make AEB standard no later than 2022."

While the United States isn't among the 40, some of the best-selling automakers in the U.S. have agreed to make AEB standard no later than 2022, the AP reported. This accord was made official in 2016, but prior to it, manufacturers such as Volvo, Toyota and Tesla already had automatic emergency braking in over 50% of their models.

Accidents far less likely with crash avoidance systems
General Motors was among them, and a recent study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety corroborates why AEB is so good to have. The analysis revealed that among GM vehicles with autobrake and forward collision warning systems were involved in 43% fewer police-reported front-to-rear collisions compared to those where these technologies were not available. There were also 64% fewer of these same types of accidents that caused injury.

Jessica Cicchino, IIHS vice president for research and who authored the report, said these preventive measures are a potential game changer.

"The evidence has been mounting that front crash prevention works, and it works even better when it doesn't solely rely on a response from the driver," Cicchino explained.

Buick, Cadillac, GMC and Chevrolet were among the makes whose models were used in IIHS' examination.

28% of 2019 models have AEB standard and for 36% its available upon request."

AEB breaks down into three categories
Although AEB systems come in many different titles – Ford calls theirs "Active City Stop" while Mazda refers to its as "Smart City Brake Support" – they generally come in three different classifications, according to The most basic, or low-speed system, is for situations where motorists reduce their rate of speed, such as in the city, school zones or busy intersections. On-board motion detection technology can sense when objects are close and, if necessary, apply the brakes without assistance. Higher-speed systems, as its title suggests, is for traveling at an elevated clip and can detect what's coming more than 600 feet away in many cases. Pedestrian systems sense moving objects and can adjust accordingly, based on where the person is moving in relation to the direction and velocity of the motor vehicle.

While it's unclear whether the U.S. will formally agree to require that all-new vehicles come equipped with automatic emergency braking, car makers appear to be taking matters into their own hands. Among 2019 models, 28% have AEB and 36% make the option available, the AP reported from government data.

If you're looking to test the capability and performance of your fleet's AEB systems, please don't hesitate to contact Greening. We'll set you up with a complimentary testing consultation you can trust that will help you answer and address the driving safety needs of your organization.