IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) and EuroNCAP tested the systems that prevent accidents with automatic braking. Some top models received poor ratings. EuroNCAP announced that starting with 2014 will include in the final score given to a car on their safety tests a new rating given for the automatic braking efficiency. Meanwhile the IIHS have already tested 74 cars, only 7 receiving the maximum rating.
The maximum score that EuroNCAP offer in their crash test sessions is becoming increasingly challenging. If three years ago they noticeably tightened the rating criteria, every year continuing to add new regulations, the European car safety performance assessment programme announced that 2014 will come with a new test. It aims at the effectiveness of accident prevention such as automatic emergency braking. In order to test new regulations, EuroNCAP has already tested some cars, and the results will be published on October 29.
“The systems that help drivers avoid an impact or minimize the effects of accidents have become a common component on the market in recent years. EuroNCAP will test and note these systems and our protocols will help customers to discern between good and bad systems.” Michiel von Ratingen – EuroNCAP Secretary General
IIHS Top Safety Pick and IIHS Top Safety Pick+
IIHS has already published a first set of results targeting the efficiency of the automatic braking system. The Americans tested the cars first at a low speed (12 mph / 20 km/h) and then at medium speed (25 mph / 40 km/h), placing in front of them an inflatable car to simulate a car braking suddenly. IIHS have rated the cars according to their performance on this test, with three grades: Superior (5 to 6 points), Advanced (2-5 points) and Basic (1 point). To achieve top level, a car must substantially reduce speed in both tests. “We decided to perform tests at 12 and 25 miles per hour because we have noticed that at this speeds the results are relevant for higher speeds. Moreover, higher speeds would have risked damaging cars,” says David Zuby – IIHS chief research officer.
From the 74 cars IIHS tested, only 7 were rated top Superior: Subaru Legacy (Eyesight) Subaru Outback (Eyesight), Cadillac ATS and Cadillac SRX (both with Forward Collision Alert Systems, Automatic Collision Preparation), Mercedes-Benz C-Class (Distronic Plus and Pre-Safe Brake ), Volvo S60 and Volvo XC60 (City Safety and Collision Warning with Full Auto Brake and Pedestrian Detection). The best points were obtained by the Subaru models that completely avoided an impact in the both speed tests.
On the other side of the ranking there were less pleasant surprises in the test. BMW 3 Series and BMW X3 were rated basis. Along with the two German models, also lined up on the list of low efficiency system Honda Accord, Ford Edge, Ford Explorer, Ford Flex and Ford Fusion. “BMW 3 Series has a system that works only if its sensors detect that the car in front has moved before stopping.”
IIHS tests conclusions
IIHS tests have emphasized the importance of the presence of all automatic braking systems on a dedicated model. Volvo S60 and XC60 were rated as Advanced (2 points) if their equipment would have only the City Safety system, because it is not very efficient at higher speeds. Moreover, Cadillac ATS and SRX models would receive a single point instead of 5 (so they would be assigned as Basic) if the test equipment would be deprived of the Automatic Collision Preparation.
Another emphasis of the IIHS is related to the effectiveness of warning to the driver in case of an imminent impact. Because they have fancy names (systems on some cars), they seem to offer automatic braking, but in some cases this is false. IIHS explains: “The crash warning system prompts the driver when it detects that the car is about to hit a vehicle in front, but the system stops or slows the vehicle. Certain systems of this kind are offered in packages that include automatic braking in order to reduce the speed in case of an accident, but are not designed to completely avoid an impact.”
Video IIHS issues first crash avoidance ratings
Crash avoidance tests via IIHS and EuroNCAP