Automotive

Twenty carmakers commit to automatic emergency braking as standard

AEB systems typically warn a driver if they anticipate a potential collision with a vehicle sensed ahead and, If no evasive braking or steering action is taken, will automatically apply the brakes to prevent a crash or to reduce its severity
AEB systems typically warn a driver if they anticipate a potential collision with a vehicle sensed ahead and, If no evasive braking or steering action is taken, will automatically apply the brakes to prevent a crash or to reduce its severity
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AEB systems typically warn a driver if they anticipate a potential collision with a vehicle sensed ahead and, If no evasive braking or steering action is taken, will automatically apply the brakes to prevent a crash or to reduce its severity
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AEB systems typically warn a driver if they anticipate a potential collision with a vehicle sensed ahead and, If no evasive braking or steering action is taken, will automatically apply the brakes to prevent a crash or to reduce its severity

We may still be some way off having fully autonomous cars to drive us around, but many of today's cars already have semi-autonomous driver assistance features, such as automatic emergency braking (AEB). Indeed, 20 carmakers have just committed to making AEB standard on new cars in the US by 2022.

AEB systems use sensors such as radar, cameras or lasers to detect vehicles ahead. In the event that a potential collision is anticipated, the systems typically warn the driver first. If no evasive braking or steering action is taken, the vehicle's brakes will be automatically applied to prevent a crash or to reduce its severity.

The aim to have AEB systems fitted in cars as standard has been sought by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). It follows an initial challenge made to automakers by the two organizations in September last year.

"With roadway fatalities on the rise, the commitment made today has the potential to save more lives than almost anything else we can accomplish in the next six years," says president and CEO of the National Safety Council Deborah A. P. Hersman. "Including all models in the agreement ensures that safety isn't for just those who can afford it."

The NHTSA says the agreement will make the technology standard three years faster than could be achieved through a formal regulatory process. In those three years, it believes 28,000 crashes and 12,000 injuries will be averted. The positive impact of the move is not expected to stop there though.

"The benefits of this commitment are far reaching," says IIHS Executive Vice President and Chief Research Officer David Zuby. "From injuries and deaths averted to the recovery of productivity that would otherwise be lost in traffic jams caused by the crashes prevented. It also assures that all Americans will benefit from this technology."

The carmakers that have agreed to the the commitment are Audi, BMW, FCA US LLC, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar Land Rover, Kia, Maserati, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi Motors, Nissan, Porsche, Subaru, Tesla Motors Inc., Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo Car USA. According to the NHTSA, these represent more than 99 percent of the US auto market.

By way of the agreement, AEB will be made standard on most vehicles with a gross weight of up to 8,500 lb (3,856 kg) from September 1, 2022, or earlier and on most vehicles with a gross weight from 8,501-10,000 lb (3,856-4,536 kg) from September 1, 2025, or earlier.

Sources: NHTSA, IIHS

11 comments
MattII
So what's going to take six years? Getting the government to approve the new law? Or for the automakers to fit it to every new car? Seems to me that neither of those should take nearly that long.
Bob
Carjackers dream?
VincentWolf
The problem with this is that the systems are 'dumb' and will prevent a lot of accidents but at the same time it will force cities to widen the bandwidth of public streets because they will force drivers to keep unrealistic distances between cars to avoid being braked 'to death' with frequent forced slowing down. The freeway depends on cars basically avoiding the 1 car length per 10 miles per hour guideline but the forced braking won't. Thus you'll see 6 to 7 car lengths on the freeway everywhere and as a result every city will need more lanes to handle the traffic. This is a fact!
Grunchy
This one time I was driving down 17 ave from 52 street SE in Calgary, after dark, and a guy dressed all in black suddenly appeared out of nowhere! And I missed him/her by cm's. The road is like 6 lanes wide, speed limit is only 50 km/hr, and I don't know how the lights hid this person, but it was the closest I ever came to actually whacking somebody on the road. Anyway, yes AEB would have been terrific in that circumstance.
VincentWolf
I see this as problematic which the computers will force everyone to keep 6 to 8 car lengths on the highway and this will increase the need for widening highways to allow enough cars to pass through a given point (bandwidth). Right now cars are literally bumper to bumper and so forcing them apart with a 'wasted' space of 5 or 6 car lengths means a lot less traffic can fit. Then too i can imagine this slowing traffic to a standstill as owners try to override the braking and it ends up braking and accelerating and braking and accelerating and basically making life hell for regular drivers trying to compensate and thus slowing down traffic even more. It simply won't work. People are a lot more flexible than computer programs!
jeffbloggs
Another German study found that if just 15% of cars are fitted with adaptive cruise (a AEB derivative feature), where the vehicle stays behind the one in front at a safe distance using the AEB distance measuring system, nearly all stop n go type traffic congestion was avoided completely. This results in less time on road per vehicle, which directly reduces congestion, plus reduces the time and therefore risk of being on the road in general. It also will help against traffic aggression, as it is much simpler and more comfortable to drive with adaptive cruise in traffic than without. So win win...and about time. It's been out for ages!
justpacificweb@gmail.com
Are any carmakers out there already using this or equivalent technology?
Rocky Stefano
@VincentWolf. Clearly you have no idea what you are talking about. Putting aside your nonsense comments, AEB will not only save lives but reduce the most common accidents which make up the majority of insurance claims, which should help lower rates.
Douglas Bennett Rogers
It will take 10-15 years from the date of inception to get this on most vehicles.
DavidDeVeau
No matter what side of the fence you are on with the pact or regulations, you have to agree that safety innovations are driven by the regulators. On one side they say it is faster to circumvent the regulatory process but the truth is it is the automotive industry that delays these procedures by taking advantage of their opportunity to comment on the regulation by taking exception to every phrase and condition causing countless rewrites. On the other side there is nothing wrong with the industry taking the initiative to add safety features without being regulated first to do so. But either way it will come down to having to have a regulation in place that specifies the types of testing and the results required in order to be consistent and as importantly in order for the insurance industry to regulate our discounts.