Developing Standard Terms for Auto Safety Gear

Source: The following story by Casey Williams was posted on’s Website.

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – As an auto journalist who has been driving new cars and covering the industry since anti-lock brakes, side airbags, and stability control were advanced safety systems, it is sometimes difficult to explain all of the latest technology that includes everything from blind spot warnings to automatic braking.  A new wave of semi-autonomous driving is here, too.

According to a story by Keith Barry in the April 2020 edition of Consumer Reports, 93 percent of new vehicles offer at least one advanced driver assistance system.  Since 2018, there have been 53 percent fewer rear end collisions in vehicles that have automatic emergency braking versus vehicles without it.  I assume blind spot warning systems, lane departure warning, and rear automatic braking also have impressive results.

What to call these systems so consumers know how to compare potential purchases is difficult.  Working with J.D. Power and the National Safety Council, Consumer Reports proposes 19 terms to be used by the industry and journalists when describing crash avoidance systems.  They are explained below, grouped by type.

Driving Control Assistance

Adaptive Cruise Control:  Uses radar or cameras to accelerate and brake to keep vehicle a pre-set distance from vehicles in front.  Some include stop-and-go capability in traffic.

Lane Keeping Assist:  Steering intervention to keep car in its lane.

Active Driving Assistance:  Includes systems like Tesla’s Autopilot and Cadillac’s Super Cruise that semi-autonomously accelerate, brake, and steer while driver stands by to take control.

Collision Warnings

Blind Spot Warning:  Alerts drivers to vehicles in their rearward side blind spot.

Forward Collision Warnings:  Uses radar/cameras to detect a potential collision, then provides an audible and/or visual alert.

Lane Departure Warnings:  Monitors lane of travel and alerts driver if vehicle crosses marker lines.

Parking Obstruction Warning:  Detects objects in path of the auto during parking maneuvers.

The entire post can be read by clicking HERE.

Mike Geylin
Mike Geylin

Mike Geylin is the Editor-in-Chief at Hagman Media. Geylin has been in automotive communications for five decades working in all aspects of the industry from OEM to supplier to motorsports as well as reporting for both newspapers and magazines on the industry.