In-vehicle driver safety assistance systems are so normalized now that even the most basic vehicles come with some kind of functionality, from lane departure warning with lane keeping assist. But you might not want to be so quick to entrust your life to some of these features, as they dodon’t always work as expected or as well as you think. Take automatic emergency braking, because consumer reports and AAA crash tests shows that most of these systems do notIn fact, it does not work well in case of accident when driving at high speed.
Although the electronics required to operate automatic emergency braking are complicated, their operation is rather simple. Using sensors, vehicles equipped with AEB can usually detect an obstacle from a distance safe enough to it’s time to avoid the obstacle or stop completely. But consumer reports found that most systems will not work if the vehicle is driven over 40 mph. Even worse, “none is designed to prevent ‘T-bone’ collisions at intersections or left turns into the path of oncoming traffic.
AAA took their testing even further by testing four popular (and unknown) models. All came with automatic braking. Using foam dummy dolls, AAA set up different crash scenarios. Their findings were surprising. Of consumer reports:
• At 30 mph, the AEB systems tested prevented rear-end collisions with the dummy car in 17 out of 20 tests. In the 30 mph tests that resulted in a crash, AEB reduced impact speed by an average of 86 percent.
• At 40 mph, AEB avoided rear-end collisions in just 6 out of 20 trials and reduced impact speed by an average of 62%.
• In a 30 mph perpendicular collision at an intersection, also known as a T-crash, AEB did not prevent or mitigate the impact of crashes.
• AEB also did not prevent or mitigate the impact of collisions involving a left turn in front of an oncoming vehicle.
So if it doesn’t seem to be working as expected, what’s the point? Jennifer Stockburger, Director of Consumer Reports Vehicle Testing Center, pointed out that the self-braking is always beneficial in that it can slow the vehicle down, lessening the impact of the crash, resulting in less serious injuries.
But if you’re a smart driver, you shouldn’t need professional testing to tell you the obvious:not’Don’t rely on your vehicle’s technology to save your life. While the technology we have today is impressive and advanced, none of this can account for the human factor of simply being careful while driving.