Are Automatic Emergency Braking Systems Helping New Drivers?

The technology of brake assist and automatic emergency braking appears to be a new advancement in the car industry. Innovation for this type of tech started as early as 2003 when Honda introduced an automatic braking front collision system. With Hondas help, developments have spurred car manufactures to equip automatic emergency braking (AEB) and forward collision warnings (FCW) in all new models, which has cut down rear end collisions by 50 percent according to The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). 

By as early as 2022, 99% of all car manufacturers within the U.S. have agreed to include emergency braking systems on essentially all new cars sold. But what does this mean for you and new drivers on the road? With new advancements like autonomous driving and automatic emergency braking making it easier to escape life threatening accidents, is it creating opportunity for new drivers to act differently and take their eye off the road because they know new advancements in car safety leave no room for human error? 

A side view mirror of a car

Description automatically generated

Reduced Claims in Braking Accidents

According to Consumer Reports, General Motors put their vehicles to the test against similar cars that didn’t have automatic braking and reported their findings to the Insurance Institute for Highway and Safety. GM found a large decline in police-reported front-to-rear crashes in vehicles equipped with forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking. Crashes in GM cars reportedly dropped 43 percent while vehicle related injuries also declined 64 percent.  In previous studies found by the IIHS, other car manufacturers like Acura, Fiat, Chrysler, Honda, Mercedes-Benz, Subaru, and Volvo also saw an average decline of 50 percent in crashes and 56 percent decline with injuries in front-to-rear crashes.  

Evidence from these studies suggest that automatic emergency braking systems have a large impact on the safety of drivers, even if the new technology doesn’t stop every accident from occurring. This crash data gives the public and manufactures enough confirmation that crash prevention radar works and can be introduced in the next generation of safety features in cars.

Difference in Braking Systems

Although new advancements in automatic emergency braking systems are creating a safer driving environment, it doesn’t mean you can act carelessly yet. Since the 2022 initiative to install automatic braking systems in cars isn’t for a couple years, car manufactures have installed variations of braking capabilities.

·       Forward Collision Warning

o   Often mistaken for automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning will alert a driver if they have come to close to a vehicle or are approaching another vehicle at a dangerous speed. This type of warning will not slow down the vehicle for the driver but will instead warn the driver and apply a stiffer brake pedal to ensure that when the driver does press the brake, that the car slows down at a faster rate.

·       Automatic Emergency Braking

o   There are three different types of automatic emergency braking that can be found in various brands of cars. According to How Safe Is Your Car, the low speed system is meant for city driving and will only be activated at speeds under 31 mph. High speed systems use a long range radar to scan cars up to 200 meters in front of your car for safety on highway commutes. Pedestrian systems only detect human movement in relation to the direction of the car at low speeds.

·       Autonomous Driving

o   This type of radar can detect cars in relevance to your own car and slow down appropriately to the speed of the car in front of you and then speed up again without any human interaction with a brake or gas pedal. The only downside is that this type of technology is only found in specific high-end cars and costs a premium to upgrade as a safety feature.

For new drivers that get accustomed to these adaptive control features, a greater effort towards educating the public should be advocated to ensure that all drivers can understand the features within their car and not rely on automatic emergency braking to succeed good driving habits. So far, automatic braking is turning out to be very hopeful with the new generation of cars. However, with there still being a large distinction between different automatic emergency braking systems until 2022, all drivers should still drive with care and watch out for others on the road. 

About Author: Carter Seuthe is a writer for NuBrakes, a Texas-based mobile brake repair service committed to making brake repair affordable and convenient. Carter is a brake expert that frequently writes about the brake industry and innovation.

Author: Brandon Park