The low-speed fender bender may soon be a thing of the past. Automated systems are becoming more common in vehicles and autonomous-emergency braking (AEB) may soon be a standard feature in all cars. The European Commission moved to have all commercial vehicles equipped with AEB by November 2012 and passenger cars are likely to come next.
Presently, American regulators are pushing for mandatory backup cameras to be a standard feature in all cars along with stability control, airbags and antilock braking systems. Based on the European trend, AEB may soon be featured in more cars earning the five-star rating on both sides of the pond.
Only about 20 percent of vehicles available in Europe include AEB technology. The European New Car Assessment program will make it incredibly difficult for a vehicle to receive a five-star safety rating without AEB technology, thus pushing car manufacturers to start incorporating the technology without mandating the inclusion.
According to TRW Automotive, automatic emergency braking uses driver assist systems and electronic stability control to slow the vehicle. AEB works with or without driver intervention by using data from a forward-looking radar and video system. Until these vehicles arrive stateside, drivers should look into brake service to ensure theirs are in working order, protecting them from potential accidents.