A new study concludes that all those active safety features that automakers have been so hot on lately really do work, with a significant reduction in the number of “relevant” crashes (that is, a crash wherein the safety feature in question should have prevented the accident) when appropriately equipped.
The study was a collaborative effort between Ford’s crosstown rivals, General Motors, and the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, which looked at 3.7 million GM vehicles ranging between between the 2013 and 2017 model years.
Of the 15 different active safety features examined, four failed to show a statistical reduction in relevant crashes. However, the researches that conducted the study say that in three of those cases, a small sample size may have contributed to the tech’s shortcomings.
In addition to the crash reduction findings, the study also concluded that active safety features become more effective as automation increases. That is, systems that take control over the vehicle led to greater crash avoidance than simple driver alert systems.
According to the study, rear-view camera systems reduce backing collisions by 21 percent, while additional systems reduce the number of relevant collisions even further, with the addition of rear parking assist, rear cross traffic alert, and reverse automatic braking decreasing backing crashes by 38 percent, 52 percent, and 81 percent, respectively.
Camera-based frontal crash systems also reduce relevant accidents by 21 percent, while the addition of automatic braking reduces accidents by 46 percent. Lane departure warning reduces crashes by 10 percent, while lane-keeping assist reduced relevant crashes by 20 percent. Blind-spot monitoring with lane-change alert reduced relevant crashes by 26 percent.
Finally, HID headlamps reduce relevant crashes by 21 percent, and automatic high-beam headlamps reduce relevant crashes by 25 percent. Both systems working in concert reduce the number of relevant crashes by 49 percent.
Ford currently offers the same active safety features as GM, but with more of the features equipped as standard when compared to its crosstown rival.
The active safety features are bundled together as part of the Ford Co-Pilot360 technology suite, and include standouts like the Blind Spot Information System with Cross-Traffic Alert, Lane-Keeping System, Pre-Collision Assist with Automatic Emergency Braking, and Evasive Steering Assist.
Source: GM Authority