The Focus on Safety in Every New Car
One of the nice things about features in cars that come standard is that you do not have to actively check whether or not the model you are considering has it or not. This is especially true when it comes to features that are lifesaving---such as automatic emergency braking.
In fact, according to a recent Consumer Reports newsletter:
“The overwhelming number of vehicles produced with this critical safety technology means that consumers will receive safety benefits even if they aren’t actively shopping for them,” says Jennifer Stockburger, director of operations at Consumer Reports’ Auto Test Center.
“Additional capabilities that many of these systems also provide, such as pedestrian detection and the ability to function at highway speeds, have the potential to save even more lives."
Automatic Emergency Braking
Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB)---As the name suggests, automatic emergency braking activates a car's brakes when a potential collision is detected---without the driver actually touching the brake pedal. And not only that, but it also increases the braking force if the driver is not applying enough force to the brakes to prevent a collision. Some AEB systems are also designed with sensors to detect pedestrians and cyclists.
You might also see this feature categorized as follows:
• Low Speed AEB— Also called “city speed AEB” this type of forward emergency braking works at speeds typically below 55 mph.
• Highway Speed AEB— Also called “highway AEB” this type of forward emergency braking works at speeds above 55 mph.
The Move Towards Added Safety by Automakers
While it would be nice to believe that safety for car owners is always on the top of automakers’ design decisions, pressure from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has made a difference by encouraging automakers to take note of their safety recommendations. In addition, automakers gain bonus points earned by making safety features standard, of which the good folks at Consumer Reports take into account when rating vehicles for consumers---a win-win for everyone involved.
Vehicles that Come Standard with AEB
From the CR newsletter, here is a summary of the makes that come standard---in the majority of their models---with AEB today as well as notes on those who are newcomers and those that have slipped some.
That said, when shopping for a new car or truck it’s still a good idea to ask just in case the feature has not yet made it into a particular model.
• Honda/Acura (Special note: Honda/Acura’s percentage of AEB-equipped vehicles dipped briefly this year amid supply chain-related manufacturing shortages.)
Special note vehicles: CR analysts report that “…Mitsubishi, Nissan/Infiniti, and Stellantis becoming the latest…to include the feature across 95 percent or more of their model lineups. Stellantis—the company that owns such popular U.S. brands as Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Ram, as well as Alfa Romeo and Fiat—added the largest number of AEB-equipped new vehicles to its offerings, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).”
For additional articles about vehicles and safety, here are a few for your consideration:
Timothy Boyer is a Torque News automotive reporter based in Cincinnati. Experienced with early car restorations, he regularly restores older vehicles with engine modifications for improved performance. Follow Tim on Twitter at @TimBoyerWrites for daily new and used vehicle news.
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