Self-Braking Systems and Their Realiability

Posted on: September 21st, 2016 by Accurate Auto Body Shop No Comments

self-braking systems Cars seem to be getting smarter. Or, one may argue, that we as humans are…well you know. But, we have all seen those commercials touting advanced self-braking systems that help you avoid collisions. Our favorite commercial is the dad driving his daughter to the school and she insists on being dropped off far away from the front of the school. Then, they get cut-off and their car immediately stops and the daughter gets out of the car, still far from the school’s entrance. She is relived and dad is left wondering what just happened.

While they make for great TV ads, some cars do not come equipped with these systems. Many, especially SUVs, do come with sensors that alert you of nearby objects, but they will not stop your vehicle. Trust us, we have seen brand new vehicles come into us for auto collision repair because their owners wanted to see if their car would stop automatically. Guess what, they don’t. They only beep.

The truth of the matter is that vehicles with self-braking systems still do not stop. In fact, many cars with these systems are not even designed to stop. According to a recent report from AAA, they found that two-thirds of Americans that are familiar with these systems believe that automatic braking systems are designed to avoid crashes without driver intervention. The reality is that these systems vary widely in their performance and many are simply not designed to stop the car. Some are designed to only slow the car, which only serves to lessen the severity of the impact. It is important to understand the capabilities of your automatic braking system if you currently have one or are in the market to purchase a car that comes equipped with it.

Self-Braking Systems Test Results

In actual testing of 2016 models that are equipped with self-braking systems, the results were interesting:

  • Systems designed to prevent collisions reduced vehicle speeds by twice that of systems designed to only lessen crash severity (79 percent speed reduction versus 40 percent speed reduction)
  • With speed differentials under 30 mph, 60 percent of systems designed to avoid crashes were successful
  • Systems intended to lessen crash severity were, surprisingly, 33 percent successful in actually avoiding collisions at speeds under 30 mph
  • When going outside their limitations (travelling at 45 mph) and avoiding a stopped vehicle, systems designed to avoid collisions only succeeded 40 percent of the time.
  • Those systems designed to lessen severity of a crash, travelling at 45 mph, were only able to reduce vehicle speed by 9 percent

Regardless, any reduction in speed is going to help reduce injury. In fact, at 30 mph, reducing speed by 10 mph can reduce the energy of the impact by 50 percent. That is why 20 of the top automakers that represent 99 percent of all vehicles manufactured are committing to making self-braking systems standard by 2022.

How to Use This Information

While self-braking systems are becoming more common, remember that they are different. And when driving outside of their parameters and at higher speeds, they are not likely to avoid a collision entirely. They may help slow you down to keep you safer. Regardless, if you experience a collision and need an auto body repair estimate, contact us online or call at 303-344-2212.

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