Monday, May 18, 2015

NCAP Finds Self-Braking Cars Reduce Collisions by 38%

The widespread adoption of self-driving cars is still a decidedly futuristic concept, but automated vehicle safety functions on the market today are showing promise—with some caveats.

A recent report from Ars Technica notes that European road safety research organization European New Car Assesment Program concluded that having a car automatically slam on the brakes to avoid low-speed crashes leads to a 38% reduction in rear-end crashes. This statistic came from analyzing various autonomous emergency braking (AEB) cars, comparing them to cars without the technology in incidents during which the car either struck a car in front, or was being struck from behind.

Researchers note that widespread adoption of AEB technology is required to get the best results. Automatically applying the brakes requires following traffic to be alert enough to react and not cause a chain of crashes. AEB cars might also be more likely to be struck from behind, since the car has a quicker reaction time than a human driver.