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What is AEB or Auto Emergency Braking??

It's all too easy to become distracted while driving, either by your screaming baby in the back, arguing kids or multitasking while driving, such as trying to pass your child their snack or drink. Or at least once in every journey, you turn your head for a split second to see your rear passengers are okay, or still awake, or still asleep etc knowing it is so dangerous to turn your head away from the road in front.

In these instances, it would be so easy for a car to stop in front of you without you noticing. This is where AEB (auto emergency braking) can be so helpful.
AEB applies the car's brakes for you, hopefully bringing you to a stop so you miss the obstacle or it lessens the severity of the crash if it can’t fully stop you in time.

How does AEB work?

Cameras and sensors in your car scan the road ahead of you for obstacles like stopped vehicles or pedestrians that can cause a collision.
The car applies the brakes for you, hopefully bringing you to a stop so you miss the obstacle or it lessens the severity of the crash if it can’t fully stop you in time.

Are there any downsides to AEB?

Do not presume because a spec sheet or salesperson says a car has AEB that it is the same in every car. It is not; different manufacturers have different technology and the AEB has different levels of accuracy.

A recent independent test done by Wheels magazine for their car of the year testing discovered that the AEB sensors systems in some cars did not register the backs of utes and so didn’t always stop for them!

AEB testing
AEB testing

This is pretty worrying considering the best selling car in recent years is the Toyota Hilux, so there is a lot of them on the roads!! The types of car that failed to stop were the BMW M2, Jaguar XF, Jaguar F-Pace, Mini Clubman and VW Tiguan. The Mini Clubman actually failed to stop for a sedan at 20kmph also, which is very worrying! The Mazda CX-9 performed the best. You can read the Wheels article here.

In my experience, the AEB in some cars is not as accurate as in others and can mistake oncoming cars, pedestrian islands, road humps, stationary cars or objects and turning cars beside you as potential hazards. I have had experiences where the car I am driving simply slams on the brakes because a car was turning right beside me. It can be very dangerous and the drivers in the cars behind me had to react quickly in order to avoid hitting my car and I had to realise what is happening and react quickly myself to override it! When I have experienced this in cars I test I always point it out in my reviews.

What else is AEB called?

Smart brake support

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