IIHS finds positive results from automatic braking

July 19, 2011 12:00 AM

The Highway Loss Date Institute (HLDI) has announced the findings of the first major study into automatic braking systems, and it appears that these features really do help drivers when it comes to safety, reports the Los Angeles Times.

HLDI, the research system of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, studied automatic braking systems, which automatically stop a vehicle if a crash is detected. While similar systems are available on a range of luxury models, the only one that currently comes to a full stop is "City Safety" on the Volvo XC60, according to the group.

The study found that XC60 drivers were 27 percent less likely to be cited as "at fault" in a crash. They also had a lower accident rate overall in low-speed crashes, especially front-to-rear collisions. In high-speed crashes, the accident rate is unchanged, but it's thought that these systems can help cut down on the severity of crashes.

"This is our first real-world look at an advanced crash-avoidance technology, and the findings are encouraging," says Adrian Lund, president of HLDI. "City Safety is helping XC60 drivers avoid the kinds of front-to-rear, low-speed crashes that frequently happen on congested roads."

The new system will be offered on upcoming Volvo models, and other automakers plan to introduce similar features in the near future as well.

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