Consumer Reports Calls Emergency Braking “Must Have” For Readers’ Next Vehicle


DETROIT, Mich.–Consumer Reports, arguably the most influential source of consumer purchasing information in the marketplace, has advised its readers that Automatic Emergency Braking is the number-one feature they should not do without on their next vehicle purchase.

The magazine also recommended forward collision warning systems, blind-spot warnings as “must have” features.

About emergency braking systems, CR said, “The system applies the brakes on its own to prevent a collision when it senses a vehicle in its way, or to reduce the force of an impact that can’t be avoided. System s that include pedestrian detection are some of the most beneficial.

Autoguide.com last year named ten vehicles with the best-performing systems including The Lexus RX, Genesis G80, Hyundai Elantra, Subaru CrossTrek, Mazda CX-9, Mercedes Benz E-Class, Honda Accord, Audi A4, Toyota Corolla, Volvo XC60.

Bosch, for one, calls its system Predictive Emergency Braking. According to the company, 72% of all avoidable rear-end crashes with casualties above speeds of 30 km/h could be prevented by the predictive emergency braking systems. And up to two-thirds of all rear-end collisions with personal injury and property damage up to 30 km/h could be prevented by an emergency braking system.

The Bosch system includes: sensor data fusion of a radar sensor and multi-purpose camera providing a detailed image and a powerful interpretation of the vehicle’s surroundings; and a stereo video camera providing sensing and that builds the basis for numerous assistance systems throughout the vehicle. Other companies’ systems are a variation on the same tech.

Above 30 kl/h

If the predictive emergency braking system detects that the distance to the preceding vehicle is becoming critically short at a vehicle speed above 30 km/h (18 mph), it prepares the braking system for potential emergency braking. If the driver does not react to the hazardous situation, the system warns the driver via an audible and/or visual signal, followed by a short but noticeable brake jerk. The system then initiates partial braking to reduce the speed and give the driver valuable time to react.

Four of 20 automakers reported to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration last year that that automatic emergency braking (AEB) is standard on more than half of their 2018 model year vehicles. Even without making it standard, another five automakers reported that more than 30 percent of vehicles they produced in 2018 were equipped with AEB.

Twenty automakers have pledged to voluntarily equip virtually all new passenger vehicles by September 1, 2022, with a low-speed AEB system that includes forward collision warning (FCW), technology proven to help prevent and mitigate front-to-rear crashes. The commitment is intended to get the technology into a wider swath of the vehicle fleet faster than otherwise possible today.

And 40 countries have agreed, through the United Nations, to require the technology be standard as early as 2020. It will probably take longer, but the commitment is there.

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David Kiley is Chief of Content for The BRAKE Report. Kiley is an award-winning business journalist and author, having covered the auto industry for USA Today, Businessweek, AOL/Huffington Post, as well as written articles for Automobile and Popular Mechanics.