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What are AEB sytems, and can they make you safer in the car?

calendar Published on: Wednesday, 9th May 2018 | female icon Author: Rebecca Taylor

Thereís no denying that the automotive world is ever changing, meaning it can be tricky to keep up with the latest innovations.

One technology you may have heard of is Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB). While these systems have been around for some time, you might not be too familiar with what they are and how this technology could benefit you and your driving.

For more information about AEB systems and what they mean for the future of driving, keep reading.

What are AEB systems?

In short, AEB systems are designed to track and monitor the road and traffic conditions ahead while youíre driving. They are able to look for signs that an accident might happen, warning the driver of upcoming dangers on the road. If the driver does not respond to this warning within a certain amount of time, the system is then able to apply the brakes automatically.

How do AEB systems work?

How AEB systems work can vary between different car models and makes, and they can be more sophisticated in some vehicles than others. However, despite this, this technology tends to follow the same key principles.

The majority of AEB systems are designed with Lidar, radar or camera sensors, while some use a mix of these technologies. The systems are able to obtain information that can help to prevent road accidents, using data such as the vehicleís driving speed and course to detect the development of potentially critical situations.

Itís important to note that these technologies work in slightly different ways. For instance, Lidar sensors are able to work best over short distances. These sensors use light detection to work out the distance between your vehicle and the one in front. On the other hand, radar sensors do this by using radio waves, meaning they are much more effective over long distances.

Camera sensors can provide a full view around the vehicle, and aside from being able to detect potential collisions, this technology can determine what a particular obstacle is, whether itís another vehicle, a cyclist or a pedestrian. Some cars use a combination of technologies, such as radar and camera sensors. This allows the driver to benefit from longer range sensing provided by the radar, while the camera sensor can detect objects at close range.

Regardless of which technology is used, if the system detects danger, it will alert the driver. This will normally be in the form of a warning light on the dashboard. If this warning is ignored, the AEB system will automatically apply the brakes. The system will decide how much brake force is necessary depending on the situation.

Since AEB systems can vary between vehicles, they can operate at different speed ranges, and some systems have been designed to identify certain hazards in certain types of areas. For instance, some work more effectively while the car is travelling at low speeds in built-up areas, while other AEB systems are better at handling high speeds in rural settings.

Can these systems make you safer in your car?

While your carís seatbelts and airbags have been put in place to protect you in the event of a road accident, an AEB system aims to significantly reduce your chances of being involved in such an incident.In fact, according to a study carried out by researchers at the University of Adelaide in Australia, an AEB system can reduce the risk of a fatal collision by up to 25 per cent, as well as reducing the chance of injury by up to 30 per cent.

'The most significant development in car safety'

To support this, UK-based vehicle safety research experts Thatcham recently stated that AEB technology is ďthe most significant development in car safety since the seat beltĒ. The research company also said that the technology ďcould save an astonishing 1,100 lives and 12,860 casualties in the UK over the next 10 years.Ē

Do all cars have AEB systems?

At the moment, itís estimated that only 21 per cent of new cars are fitted with AEB systems as standard. In some cases, this technology is offered as an extra. For example, if you purchase a new vehicle, you may have the option to add an AEB system at an additional cost. This is usually offered as part of a safety package.

In 2006, Swedish company Volvo was one of the first car manufacturers to introduce this technology to its vehicles. The company has now made its AEB system a standard feature in all new models. The manufacturer has since reported that this technology has lowered its insurance claims in relation to rear-end collisions by 28 per cent.

In the future, itís thought that AEB systems will become a standard feature in all cars. The European New Car Assessment Programme no longer award five-star safety ratings to vehicles without AEB technology, meaning itís more than likely that these systems will be mandatory in the manufacturing of cars at some point. The European Parliament has also made a request before the European Commission that all new vehicles should include this technology as standard.

Are there different names for AEB?

Itís also worth noting that different car manufacturers refer to AEB technology in different ways, with some offering more than one version of this feature. Here are some examples:

BMW - Driving Assistant, Driving Assistant Plus, Active Guard

Citroen - Active City Brake

Fiat - City Brake Control, Brake Control

Mini - Driving Assistant

Nissan - Forward Emergency Braking

Renault - Active Emergency Braking

Skoda - City Safe Drive, Front Assist

Suzuki - Radar Brake Support

Toyota - Pre-Crash System

Volvo - City Safety

For a full list of car manufacturers and more information about AEB systems, you can carry out your own research online.


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