“Active braking system” refers to a collection of car sensors and sophisticated computer modules that scan ahead and around a vehicle. When the system, also known as autonomous emergency braking (AEB), front and rear automatic brakes (Cadillac), Pre Safe brake system (Mercedes-Benz), and others, detects a potential collision, the system first alerts the driver like audio alerts and haptic feedback (e.g., vibrating steering wheel or even seat). Simultaneously, the AEB preps the vehicle’s brake system for maximum power once pressed by the driver, with some systems like Volvo’s City Safe by Continental actually stopping the vehicle without driver input.
Car safety organization Euro NCAP recently announced it will be including AEB as part of its testing of new vehicles. States Michiel van Ratingen, Secretary General of the Euro NCAP, “A faster penetration of these technologies into new cars will make it more realistic for the European Union to reach its target to cut road deaths by 50% by 2020. Consequently, Euro NCAP has decided to include AEB assessments as part of the overall star rating from 2014 onwards and hopes that European authorities will soon require AEB as mandatory on all new vehicle types.”
According to the safety organization, active brake systems can reduce car accidents by more than 25-percent. Despite the high figure, less than 50-percent of the automakers even offer AEB for their vehicles, with the feature completely unavailable in nearly 80-percent of the models sold. Premium and luxury brands like Infiniti, Mercedes-Benz, and Volvo have active braking systems as either a standard feature or optional on their vehicles, though mainstream brands like Ford, Honda, and Mazda are increasingly offering such systems especially in their high-selling models. The Euro NCAP hopes that more automakers will be encouraged to include AEBs in their vehicles since it’ll be scrutinized by the organization as part of the vehicle’s safety rating.
We contacted America’s well-known automotive safety organizations — the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety — to see if they’ll be adding active brake systems to their rating criteria. According to Russ Rader, senior VP of IIHS communications, the U.S. needs more data on the effectiveness of such active braking systems in real world situations. The private, non-profit organization will then consider adding AEBs into its rating program.
The NHTSA has not responded at the time of this post. Note both organizations are currently researching various crash avoidance systems.
Source: Euro NCAP