New research by the American Automobile Association (AAA) suggests that automatic emergency braking (AEB) systems struggle to prevent crashes when cars are driving at normal speeds.
According to a report by The Verge, which notes that new cars are required to include AEB systems as of September 2022, AAA tested four vehicles with the technology: the 2022 Chevrolet Equinox LT, the 2022 Ford Explorer XLT, the 2022 Honda CR-V Touring, and the 2022 Toyota RAV4 LE. What it found was that AEB “failed to prevent 100 percent of crashes staged by AAA” in tests involving T-bone crashes and left turns with oncoming vehicles. In tests involving rear-end collisions at low speeds, however, the technology stopped some crashes: 17 out of 20 when the vehicles were moving at 30 miles per hour, and six out of 20 when vehicles were traveling at 40 miles per hour.
As an AAA news release explains, AEB technology employs front-facing cameras and sensors to detect impending collisions and stop a car, and it has a proven track record preventing rear-end crashes at low speeds. AAA tested the technology with T-bone crashes and crashes involving left turns with oncoming vehicles because “these two types accounted for 39.2% of total fatalities in crashes involving two passenger vehicles during which the striking vehicle did not lose traction or leave the roadway before the collision” between 2016 and 2020.
Given the technology’s poor showing in tests involving those types of crashes, the AAA “strongly urges automakers and regulatory agencies” to develop systems better equipped to prevent them. “Automakers must improve AEB systems to assist drivers in intersection-based crash scenarios,” the news release says, adding that automakers should install AEB technology in all cars and that drivers should be aware of the technology’s limitations.
Greg Brannon, AAA’s director of automotive engineering and industry relations, said in a statement about the tests: “Automatic Emergency Braking does well at tackling the limited task it was designed to do. Unfortunately, that task was drawn up years ago, and regulator’s slow-speed crash standards haven’t evolved… Testing requirements for this technology, or any vehicle safety system for that matter, must be updated to handle faster, more realistic speeds and scenarios with the greatest safety benefit for drivers.”
More information about automatic emergency braking’s limitations when it comes to crashes at normal and higher speeds is available via The Verge and AAA. Contact our attorneys to discuss your car accident case.