A number of road accidents are caused by late braking or braking with insufficient force. The Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) system can prevent accidents under these situations and carmakers are working to make AEB a standard feature by 2022.
The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has announced a commitment from 20 well-known automakers, which represents over 99 percent of the country's automotive industry. The carmakers want to make AEB systems a standard feature by no later than Sept. 1, 2022.
"It's an exciting time for vehicle safety. By proactively making emergency braking systems standard equipment on their vehicles, these 20 automakers will help prevent thousands of crashes and save lives," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. "It's a win for safety and a win for consumers."
Several car manufacturers have developed the technology but these are available only as an option and not as a standard feature. AEB can apply the brakes either gradually for maintaining a safe distance or even bring the car to a complete halt.
Cars with AEB systems have radar, a camera and/or lidar-based technology for identifying potential collision.
Here is how the AEB system works.
AEB system is typically paired with another feature called forward collision warning, which scans the road ahead and warns the driver if the car is about to crash. Drivers can take necessary steps for slowing down the car or completely stopping the car. The AEB system comes into play when the driver does not react to the warnings.
Sensors installed at the front of the car detect the distance of the car ahead. Warnings given by the system could be sounds, vibrations or visual. Some AEB system also gives a mix of these warnings. AEB systems also brakes as a warning to the driver.
Customers who have an AEB system installed on their car should read the car manual to get full understanding of the technology.
It is worth noting that AEB systems are not fool-proof and drivers should not entirely depend on them. Drivers should always maintain a safe driving distance with the car ahead and should be wary of the traffic.
Users of AEB system should be aware that the technology relies on sensors, which can be interrupted by snow, ice or dirt. The sensors should be cleaned regularly for ensuring proper functionality.
Experts suggest that AEB systems can reduce rear end crash by 40 percent. NHTSA's announcement is a welcome step as an optional feature will soon become a standard feature for ensuring auto safety and reducing road accidents related to breaking issues.
Photo: Clover Autrey | Flickr