Automatic Braking Could Save Countless Lives
Autonomous Emergency Braking Explained
Autonomous Emergency Braking systems could reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on the road by seventeen thousand over ten years, Thatcham has claimed. This assumes it is fitted to every new vehicle from 2015. The impact of such technology could, therefore, be comparable to the benefits felt in the eighties when legislation first required motorists to wear seatbelts. There was then a fifty percent reduction in casualties in a short period. Autonomous Emergency Braking – or AEB – comes in various forms and each manufacture has its unique twist on the recipe. In general terms, however, it works by monitoring the road ahead via laser/radar then calculates the stopping distance to the nearest hazard. This might be a lorry, etc. If the distance becomes to small – perhaps because the motorist fails to notice that the hazard is losing speed - the system typically warns him/her via a beeping tone and warning light. If the motorist fails to react - perhaps because he/she panics or is distracted – it can override the driver and perform a full-power emergency stop. This has one of two effects. Either the vehicle misses the hazard completely or the severity of the impact is reduced. The latter – at the very least – minimises personal injury and the cost of repair to cars, etc.
Blind Spot Monitoring, Lane Departure And Attention Assist
But there is more to modern vehicles than automatic braking systems. Blind Spot Monitoring – which again is available in various forms from various manufacturers – makes changing lane significantly safer. In general terms, the system presents the motorist with a warning light in the wing mirror when a vehicle is concealed. Blind spots, of course, are typically caused by rear pillars, etc. Warning lights enable the motorist – even if the vehicle is completely obscured – to recognise there is a hazard and maintain a safe line. And there is more. If the motorist signals to change lane when the light is illuminated, it might flash to emphasis the risk. There might be a beeping tone too. Very clever. Lane Departure Warning, in contrast, scans the road for lane markings. It can then inform the motorist that the vehicle is wandering off line (perhaps because the driver is distracted). Advanced systems automatically steer back to the intended route. This is emphasised by a buzz in the steering. Furthermore, Attention Assist scans for signs of fatigue. These systems – again, in general terms – recognise that when a driver is alert there are consistent, small, steering movements. As such, a lack of input followed by a sharp correction suggests tiredness. The vehicle then recommends rest via its dashboard.