Automatic braking systems need improvement at night

Automatic emergency braking systems can help avoid collisions with vehicles and pedestrians. However, when it comes to pedestrians, it seems that many of these systems have the same flaws as humans. They don’t see as well when the sun goes down.

That’s the conclusion of a new study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the US equivalent of Euro NCAP, into the effectiveness of automatic braking systems after dark.

According to the nonprofit, 75 percent of car-pedestrian collisions occur after dark, so a new series of tests has begun to evaluate these systems in nighttime conditions. The results were not good, as only 4 of the 23 vehicles earned the Superior rating, the highest rating possible. 7 were rated Advanced, 8 Basic and 4 not rated at all. In comparison, 19 of the same 23 cars were rated Superior and Advanced in the same daytime tests.

The highest ranked vehicles were the Nissan Pathfinder, Toyota Camry, Toyota Highlander and Ford Mustang Mach-E. Of these, only the Pathfinder avoided the pedestrian collision in all scenarios. At the other end of the spectrum, the Toyota Tacoma, Honda Pilot, Nissan Altima and Chevrolet Malibu earn no points, as they either barely slowed down or continued at full speed throughout the tests.

The Honda Accord, Hyundai Palisade, Hyundai Sonata, Nissan Frontier, Nissan Murano, Subaru Ascent and Subaru Outback were rated Advanced, with the Chevrolet Traverse, Ford Explorer, Ford Maverick, Ford Ranger, Mazda CX-9, Volkswagen Atlas, Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport and Volkswagen Tiguan to be rated as Basic.

Night tests include multiple passes at various speeds using the low and high beams. An adult crossing the road and an adult walking alongside are the two most common situations, with tests at 12 mph (19 km/h) and 25 mph (40 km/h) in the scenario where an adult crosses the road at both 25 mph (40 km/h) and 37 mph (60 km/h) in the scenario where an adult is walking on the edge of the road lane.

As we’ve come to expect, most of these pedestrian AEB systems don’t work very well in the dark. But it’s clear that automakers can rise to this new challenge, with Ford, Nissan and Toyota earning superior ratings for some of their models.

said IIHS President David Harkey.

Source: by

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