US: automatic braking increased availability enhances safety image

According to reports coming from the US insurance industry safety tester, the increased availability of the automatic braking systems has led them to test the advertised function – finding out that most of them do increase chances to avoid collisions.

The well-known Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has moved to perform non-crash tests and award ratings to the standard or optionally available front-crash avoidance systems. The institute is on its third report for such systems, after the first tests were conducted last September and now the latest scores being issued for the large and midsize cars.

“This technology is moving into the market surprisingly quickly. It’s good to see,” says David Zuby, IIHS chief research officer.

On the US market, around 90 models have on offer a form or another of the system, with all of them designed to brake and try to stop the car if a collision is detected as imminent, even if the driver takes no action.

The latest test batch saw 24 models equipped with automatic braking, with eight of them reaching the top “superior” rating – which meant collisions were avoided entirely at the designated speeds of 12 and 25 mph (20 and 40 km/h). The IIHS now awards to new cars tested the “Top Safety Pick +” rating only to cars which meets all crash criteria and gets at least a “basic” rating in the automatic braking test.