AAA reports the new automatic braking systems have wide performance factors image

The autonomous vehicle era is almost upon us and we’re slowly getting used to it via intermediate steps – designed to keep us even safer than before but also ease the transition.

Today the automatic emergency braking systems are an almost common sight on the list of a new car’s standard features – the 50 percent threshold has already been surpassed in the United States and reports claim it will become 99 percent standard by 2022. But the AAA has actually uncovered an interesting thing – between the various manufacturers’ options there are wide ranging differences. Today there are two major types deployed – the ones that only try to make an impact more manageable and those looking to avoid it entirely. Testing both systems on five 2016 model year cars showed the first system will drop much less speed than the latter when hitting the brakes on its own.

The result could be predictable, but it’s no less interesting to see the gap. AAA found that prevention systems (the ones looking to avoid it entirely) dropped speed by up to 79 percent – avoiding 60% of impacts with vehicles going 30 mph slower. Mitigation systems on the other hand dropped the speed just 40 percent, avoiding one third of all impacts in the same scenario. But when a stationary vehicle was presented and the vehicle was doing 45 mph the speed drop was of just 9 percent – while prevention systems dropped 74 percent, good enough to avoid 40 percent of all impacts.