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Autonomous Emergency Braking

September 15, 2016 at 2:00 PM

What is Autonomous Emergency Braking?

In simple terms, it is a system fitted to your car or van that can apply the brakes when you're not able to. There are many reasons that drivers brake later than they actually need to - they can range from poor visibility to being distracted, but that split second of delay can cost lives.

An 'AEB' system can work out if you are about to collide with something by use of a sensor mounted behind your rear view mirror. This continuously monitors the traffic ahead of you and applies the brakes in a potential collision situation - the idea being that at low speeds it will prevent the crash entirely, and at high speeds at least minimise the impact.

When you take into consideration that 75% of all City accidents occur at speeds of less than 25 miles per hour, this technology could prevent an enormous amount of accidents and all the physical, mental and financial pain that goes with them.

Euro NCAP and Australasian NCAP have conducted a study that claims to show that AEB has lead to a 38% reduction in rear-end crashes - it's no wonder then that some sources are reporting that insurance companies are lowering premiums by as much as 10% for vehicles fitted with AEB.

So what are the disadvantages?

Many people encountering AEB for the first time express concern about potentially passing control of their vehicle to a 'computer', but are these concerns justified?

It's still early days for the technology, and it does rely on 'best case scenario' conditions - regardless of whether the road is wet and greasy, the AEB is going to assume that it is a dry day and that the car that it is fitted to is in good condition.

It also won't take into account that your car or van is fitted with a trailer, caravan, carrying an exceptionally heavy load or has an under-inflated tyre, all of which can have a significant effect on stopping distance.

In conclusion, it is best to remember that AEB should be treated as the last line of defence - it is not a replacement for attention to the road or vehicle maintenance and of course, you are still in full control of your vehicle.

However, there can be little doubt that even as a new technology AEB has already prevented accidents, and as a secondary safety feature it certainly has enough value to make several road safety organisations (including the AA and Euro NCAP) come out in support for it.

While the fact that there is the possibility of lowered insurance premiums is attractive, possibly the highest value that AEB actually has is the potential to save lives.

 

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Tags: Emergency Braking Autonomous Technology
Category: The ''Expert Advice''

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