Crash Assist Technologies explained – Collision Warning and AEBS

Ford's Forward Collision Warning technology illustration

GUARDIAN ANGEL: Flashing lights on the dash and an audible warning tell the driver to take action (thanks to Ford for the Forward Collision Warning illustration).

Collision Warning

Wouldn’t it be great if we all had a guardian angel on our shoulder, checking us all the time we’re driving to make sure all is well?

Collision Warning is a sort of like a guardian angel. It monitors the distance to the vehicle in front using cameras and/or sensors, and continuously calculates if a collision is imminent. It then warns the driver, usually with flashing lights on the dash and an audible warning, that action needs to be taken. The system only warns you – it doesn’t apply the brakes like Active Cruise Control or auto-brake (see below) – so you have to be on the ball or you may be too late to avoid a collision.

In heavy traffic, the warnings can be frequent and may become annoying, to the extent that drivers switch the system off, which defeats the purpose. It is also called Forward Collision Warning System.

Autonomous Emergency Braking System (AEBS)

AEBS is an extension of collision warning. It uses cameras or other sensors to monitor vehicles in front, warns the driver, then applies the brakes if it detects an imminent collision and the driver takes no action. While the systems will only avoid a collision below a specific closing speed, at higher speeds it can at least reduce the impact speed, and therefore vehicle damage and possible injury.

It is helpful if you are momentarily distracted or if something unexpected happens in front of you. Similarly to Forward Collision Warning, if it triggers too often drivers may switch it off. Manufacturers have a range of brand names for such systems, including City Safety, Collision Warning with Full Auto Brake, EyeSight, and Pre-Safe Brake.

It will become mandatory in Europe for new heavy vehicles from 2013.

What’s your experience with Collision Warning Technology and Autonomous Emergency Braking Systems? Are they features you like?

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This entry was posted in Driving Safety, Motoring, Safety and tagged , , by Jack @ NRMA. Bookmark the permalink.

About Jack @ NRMA

Jack is the NRMA’s advocate and champion for vehicle technical and environmental issues. He has been with NRMA for 24 years and previous to that worked for a vehicle manufacturer and ran an emissions laboratory. He analyses new technologies, suggests any testing required and manages the NRMA’s involvement in national programs such as ANCAP, the high speed crash test program that provides safety ratings for purchasers of new vehicles; the Used Car Safety Ratings, that provide similar ratings for used cars; the Child Restraint Evaluation Program, to rate child restraints; and the Consumer Rating and Assessment of Safety Helmets (CRASH) to rate motorcycle helmets. Jack also presents NRMA policy and test results from these programs in the media, so you may see him on TV or hear him on the radio.

2 thoughts on “Crash Assist Technologies explained – Collision Warning and AEBS

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