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AAA Texas: Hit the Brakes, Reverse Automatic Emergency Braking Isn’t Foolproof

Coppell, TX Automotive
Reverse Automatic Emergency Braking

Editors: B-Roll and video of simulated vehicle crashes conducted for this research project is available here.  B-Roll of simulated vehicle-pedestrian crashes is available here.

Drivers of newer-model cars should be aware that their automated braking systems are not foolproof, according to recent research conducted by AAA.

To conduct the research, AAA automotive engineers examined various simulated collisions across four popular 2023 model-year vehicles equipped with reverse automatic emergency braking (AEB) with rear cross traffic mitigation.

The Inquiry 

Reverse automatic emergency braking (AEB) systems have been shown to significantly reduce rear-end collisions. Reverse AEB with rear cross traffic mitigation systems are designed to mitigate or prevent collisions with other vehicles, with some reverse AEB systems detecting rear cross-traffic and automatically applying brakes in response to other cars, pedestrians, cyclists or stationary objects. AAA Engineers wanted to know how reverse AEB systems perform when 1) backing out of a parking space into the path of an oncoming vehicle with an adjacent parked vehicle blocking the view And 2) while encountering a stationary child pedestrian behind the vehicle.

The Results

1) Reverse AEB systems automatically applied brakes in 65% of test runs and prevented a collision in 2.5% of test runs in the context of backing-up scenarios involving a subject vehicle crossing behind the test vehicle.

2) With the stationary child target behind the test vehicle, reverse (AEB) automatically applied brakes in 75% of test runs and prevented a collision in 50% of test runs.

“Drivers should not solely rely on these advanced driving systems to prevent collisions, but instead use them to enhance their awareness of their surroundings and support safe driving,” said Greg Brannon, AAA’s director of automotive engineering. “Above all, vehicle testing requirements for these systems should be updated to be consistent, taking into consideration unusual objects and more realistic scenarios with the goal of achieving the greatest safety benefit to drivers, pedestrians and cyclists,” said Brannon.

AAA Tips 

  • Drivers should not rely on reverse AEB systems to prevent collisions when backing up but utilize backup cameras and other sensors to enhance their awareness.
  • Back up cautiously when an object obstructs the view, allowing the ADAS sensors to “see” or detect cross traffic, giving the system more time to see a potential collision and to bring the vehicle to a stop.
  • It’s important to make sure these systems are working properly and repaired accurately.

Industry Advice

Testing standards for these systems are lacking in the United States but are crucial to ensure they function properly in real-world scenarios. It's important to evaluate not only their functionality but also their ability to address different situations that may arise. Taking a balanced approach to testing can help ensure that these systems are safe and effective for all users.

Methodology

In partnership with the Automobile Club of Southern California’s Automotive Research Center, AAA selected four popular 2023 model year vehicles equipped with reverse AEB with rear cross traffic mitigation. Only reverse AEB systems with the ability to detect and automatically brake for rear cross traffic were eligible for testing. It was determined that all test vehicles would be small to medium SUVs due to the popularity of these categories. The “2023 Hyundai Tucson Hybrid”, The “Limited AWD 2023 Lexus RX 350 “Premium,” The “2023 Mazda CX-30 2.5 Turbo AWD “Premium Plus Package” and the “2023 Volkswagen Tiguan 2.0T “SEL R-Line."

About AAA

Started in 1902 by automotive enthusiasts who wanted to chart a path for better roads in America and advocate for safe mobility, AAA has transformed into one of North America’s largest membership organizations. Today, AAA provides roadside assistance, travel, discounts, and financial and insurance services to enhance the life journey of over 64 million members across North America, including over 57 million in the United States. To learn more about all AAA offers or become a member, visit AAA.com.

Media Contacts

Daniel Armbruster
Media & Corporate Spokesperson , AAA Texas (DFW Based)
512-564-3141
armbruster.daniel@ace.aaa.com
Doug Shupe
Public Affairs (Los Angeles/Houston)
512-659-1632
shupe.doug@aaa-texas.com
CST 1016202-80 Copyright © AAA Texas, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
AAA Texas is a member club affiliated with the American Automobile Association (AAA) national federation and serves members in the state of Texas (with the exception of Texarkana).