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Four OEs Complete Standard Braking Commitment

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April 10, 2020—Four years after an initial voluntary commitment to add automatic emergency braking (AEB) in cars, four automakers have completed the agreement with others making progress.

Tesla, Volvo, Mercedes-Benz and Audi have made AEB standard in their fleets. 

Seven more manufacturers—Toyota, Volkswagen, BMW, Nissan, Honda, Subaru and Mazda—equipped more than 8 out of 10 new vehicles with AEB in 2019.

In 2016, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety announced a commitment by 20 automakers to make automatic emergency braking (aka AEB) systems a standard feature no later than Sept. 1, 2022.

At the time, IIHS had data showing that cars equipped with AEB were involved in fewer crashes than their counterparts without it, says David Zuby, executive vice president and chief research officer for the IIHS.

Zuby says the Institute saw roughly a 50 percent reduction in front-to-rear crashes and the numbers stayed the same when the tests were performed with different automakers. 

In 2016, the 20 automakers that signed onto the agreement included Audi, BMW, FCA, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar Land Rover, Kia, Maserati, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Porsche, Subaru, Tesla, Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo.

The commitment did involve minimum performance-level series of tests that needed to be met, Zuby says.

"By and large, we're finding the systems the automakers are making fit those performance requirements," he says.

Zuby says there is every indication that there will be more AEB systems on 2020 model year vehicles because there's already been an increase in the 2019 availability. 

IIHS is promoting the installation of AEB systems by making it a part of the requirement for OEs to qualify for IIHS' Top Safety Pick award. For new vehicles debuting, they need to have AEB that is pedestrian-detecting as well to qualify for the safety award, Zuby says.

AEB Means Making Proper Repairs

If AEB is included in the entire U.S. fleet of vehicles, it will mean fewer of certain kinds of crashes, Zuby says. In order for the systems to work right as well, technicians need to be making repairs correctly to the AEB system so that it performs the same as it did before the crash. Technicians need to take steps like calibrating the sensor after the body work is done.

He also says there will be a need to switch the way repairs are done when it comes to painting a car or repairing a windshield. There might be more windshield replacements if the crack in the windshield is located where a sensor is. For painting, there might be a minimum amount of filler required so that the paint does not cover up a sensor on the car.

"The voluntary commitment will probably prevent a lot of crashes but not save a lot of lives because not many people die in front-to-rear crashes," Zuby says. 

AEB Means Investing in Tooling and Training

According to the 2020 CCC Crash Course Trends Report, with vehicle complexity, repair complexity is increasing. Repairers will have to invest in having training, tooling and data available in order to repair  ADAS equipped cars.

Increasing vehicle complexity — both in terms of the materials used in the construction of the vehicles, as well as an increased number of standard options, are helping to lift costs. 

The CCC Crash Course Report says a repairer should follow these steps:

  • Completion of a pre-repair scan, post-repair scan, and often an in-process scan to get a comprehensive understanding of what is damaged and to verify proper repair. 
  •  Repairers must identify what electronic systems the vehicle has, which of them has been damaged, and which components need to be removed, replaced, R&I’d, disconnected, and/or refinished.

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