Automatic braking systems on cars will become more and more prevalent after the crash test organisation Euro NCAP announced it will make the technologies part of its car safety star rating from 2014. It is also calling for European authorities to make AEB mandatory on all new vehicle types.
The move is intended to encourage the public to choose AEB when buying a new car to "improve their safety, make a real difference and help them avoid or mitigate a crash," said Euro NCAP.
A survey from the European group, which oversees safety ratings for cars across Europe and in the UK, shows that automated braking systems (AEB) are completely unavailable on 79% of car models on sale in Europe and that 66% of manufacturers do not offer an AEB system on any new car models. Yet real world data suggests these systems can reduce accidents by up to 27%.
The systems can help to avoid crashes or lessen their severity by warning the driver and supporting braking response and/or applying the brakes independently. Typically, the technology uses forward-looking radar and video systems to give a real-time image of the road ahead.
Euro NCAP said that premium brands such as Volvo, Infiniti and Mercedes have the best levels of standard AEB fitment, and are joined by Jaguar, Range Rover, Audi and Lexus when optional fit is also considered. It added that some volume sector manufacturers are showing that AEB can be offered as standard or as an affordable option on mass-market vehicles. Amongst others, Mazda, Ford, Honda and Volkswagen are selling AEB systems partly as standard or optional on some high-volume cars such as the Mazda CX-5, the Ford Focus, the Honda Civic and the VW up!.
Why blame tata and mahindra the Germans are not safe too.
It is a common perception that luxury cars score highly on crash protection. However, many highly popular offerings from various luxury car manufacturers, including the new 3 Series from BMW, have scored poorly in a new frontal crash test which apes the head on collision of a car with another vehicle, electricity/telephone pole or a tree. The test is from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
The ratings were given as per the performance in three areas: structural integrity, the effectiveness of the restraints and potential injuries.
Of a total of 11 latest entry level luxury cars that were put to test, merely two -- the Acura TL and Volvo S60 -- earned "good" ratings in the ‘small overlap frontal crash test’. It may be noted that Volvo is presently owned by Chinese car maker Geely.
Nissan’s Infiniti G could manage only an "acceptable" rating at this test. The very popular Mercedes Benz C-Class, the Audi A4, the BMW 3 Series, the Ford Lincoln MKZ and the ES 350 & the IS from Toyota owned Lexus were awarded an overall rating of "poor". *
The cars fared badly in spite of the fact that almost every modern executive sedan has a safety cage to ensure the protection of the inhabitants in event of a head-on collision. However, small overlap crashes, that involve an impact on only the front corner of a car, have maximum effect on the less protected outer edges of the vehicle.
The right foot of the crash dummy in both the C-Class and the Lexus IS was struck under the brake pedal.
"Most automakers design their vehicles to ace our moderate overlap frontal test and NHTSA's full-width frontal test, but the problem of small overlap crashes hasn't been addressed," Institute President Adrian Lund said.
Of all the vehicles that were tested, the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series, Mercedes Benz C Class and the Volvo S60 are currently on sale in India. It is reassuring to see that inspite of a Chinese owner, the Swedish car maker has maintained its status of manufacturing some of the safest cars out there.* Popular German Luxury Cars Perform Poorly in Frontal Crash Test | Motoroids