Ford Authority

Automatic Emergency Braking Less Effective At Higher Speeds

Automatic Emergency Braking has had a measurable impact on reducing traffic accidents and fatalities, and it’s a feature that Ford has embraced fully. However, while Ford’s AEB systems generally outperform the competition at night, vehicles including the Ford Maverick compact pickup and the Ford Explorer crossover haven’t performed quite as well in Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) testing. As such, the IIHS has been weighing changes to its testing standards and calling for improved expectations from these systems, moves that are supported by new research from AAA.

As accidents involving T-bones and left turns in front of oncoming vehicles in intersections accounted for 39.2 percent of total traffic fatalities involving two vehicles between 2016 and 2020, AAA tested Automatic Emergency Braking performance when encountering a stationary vehicle at speeds of 30 and 40 miles-per-hour – currently mandated testing speeds are 12 and 25 miles-per-hour – and also when encountering moving vehicles in collision scenarios involving an intersection – both T-bones and unprotected left turns.

AAA used four vehicles to complete 20 test runs – a 2022 Chevrolet Equinox LT, 2022 Ford Explorer XLT, 2022 Honda CR-V Touring, and 2022 Toyota RAV4 LE. At speeds of 30 miles-per-hour, AEB prevented rear-end collisions 85 percent of the time – though that dropped to just 30 percent at 40 miles-per-hour. Even worse, in T-bone and unprotected left turn situations, AEB failed to alert the driver, slow the vehicle’s speed, and avoid the crash every single time.

“Automatic Emergency Braking does well at tackling the limited task it was designed to do. Unfortunately, that task was drawn up years ago, and regulator’s slow-speed crash standards haven’t evolved,” said Greg Brannon, director of AAA’s automotive engineering and industry relations. “Testing requirements for this technology, or any vehicle safety system for that matter, must be updated to handle faster, more realistic speeds and scenarios with the greatest safety benefit for drivers.”

We’ll have more automotive safety news soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for ongoing Ford news coverage.

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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  1. Richard Norman

    There is no way I would buy a car with automatic braking. NO WAY ! People cause accidents and anyone who has had multiple accidents should be required to go to a special driving school to learn how to drive and keep their minds on this important subject instead of texting or talking on the phone or doing anything else while driving because they have proven that they can not do both at the same time.
    My dad never had a wreck he caused and I don’t remember him ever having been in an accident. I have also never caused one and have avoided some and minimized other times when people turned in front of me or simply weren’t paying attention which is the main reason we need auto insurance. a lack of focus. And we are talking about a lifetime of driving here for both my dad and me. It is simple far too easy to get your license and most people are mentally not in the car they are driving. The same amount of people die each year in auto accidents which is same number as died in the Vietnam war ! Also driving under the influence of alcohol is a major contributor so if you are one of those people who drink a lot, it should be required to pass a breathalyzer test before your car will start. Common sense is needed here not a car that drives itself or brakes because the driver isn’t paying attention.

    1. Robert.Walter

      You apparently lead a charmed anecdotal life.

      You think breathalyzers are good but auto brake isn’t. What a bizarre cherry pick of safety enhancing tech.

  2. Arcee

    This is another one of those studies where the immediate reader response is “Yeah, no kidding.” No system will prevent something from happening when something, for all intent and purposes, APPEARS OUT OF NOWHERE for an inattentive driver. This study is looking for the AEB systems to be clairvoyant and that isn’t their intent. The best you can hope for in this case is the system scrubs off enough momentum to minimize injury to both parties.

    Automakers are going to be federally mandated to have passive systems to detect drunk drivers. The initial phases of that requirement have already been passed in the current administration’s Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, Section 24220(c). It won’t just impact people who drink a lot. Every driver will be impacted. Because the system must be passive, it needs to detect impairment without the driver having to do anything (no breathing in to a tube or anything of that nature.) There have been discussions of smart steering wheels, lasers on fingertips, etc. Should be a real mess initially.


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