By on September 12, 2015

volvo-city-safety

Safety technology tends to have a trickle-down journey. ABS, airbags, and other technologies we now take for granted have slowly bee adopted over the years and are now standard equipment. The next technology to join that group might be automatic braking — or autobrake — depending on from what company you buy your next new car.

Ten automakers, along with the NHTSA and IIHS, have agreed to make automatic braking standard on their cars going forward.

Those automakers include Audi, BMW, Ford, General Motors, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Tesla, Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo. Left out are Nissan, Honda, Fiat Chrysler, Hyundai, Kia and Subaru.

Automatic braking usually relies on any number of types of sensors to detect objects ahead. The technology has typically been reserved for safety packages as part of upper level trims.

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143 Comments on “Automatic Braking Might Be Coming to Your Next New Car, Whether You Like It or Not...”


  • avatar
    Hummer

    Suddenly $60k for a rotisserie restoration of an antique car/truck seems very reasonable.

    • 0 avatar
      OneAlpha

      You know, I wonder just how many structural modifications could you make to say, a 1985 Corvette and still have the DMV consider it a 1985 Corvette.

      Does the resulting car have to LOOK like a 1985 Corvette?

      It’s old enough to be emission exempt, so does it have to run a GM V8?

      See where I’m going with this?

      • 0 avatar
        nickoo

        In cali, you need a ’74 or earlier. I think the best thing would be to find a firewall from an old trashed mustang and simply buy all the parts from the ford catalog to build it with modern handling and drive train.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        Depends on the state, when I was looking at duramax conversions, some states would require emissions testing equal to the engines year of build.

        ie 2003 truck with a 2007 engine is required to meet emissions standards of a 2007 diesel truck. It’s pretty ridiculous.

  • avatar
    LS1Fan

    I think it’s a good thing.

    Sacre Bleu, nanny state safety aids a GOOD THING? Yes it is. The average person would rather slam into the back of someone else’s car then ignore their precious social media accounts. Note the number of selfies showing a reflected steering wheel in the sunglasses of the subject.

    For the one person in thirty drivers who knows the difference between Z and H rated tires, a strategically pulled relay ought to disable “autobraking”.

    • 0 avatar
      ItsMeMartin

      … and when that one person in thirty has an accident he will be denied insurance money citing gross negligence as the insurance company will find out that autobraking was inoperational at the time of the accident.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        Is there a history of denied claims for turning off stability control, or having nonoperational ABS?

        • 0 avatar
          ItsMeMartin

          I don’t know of any cases in the US, but where I live that has already happened. It’s been rare but it’s probable enough for automotive magazines from my country to discourage turning off the electronic aids. In any case, that does give the insurance companies another line of defence when denying insurance claims, doesn’t it?
          I admit that it’s unlikely to happen right now in the US as I remember some commenter saying that the car’s condition is rarely taken into account when assessing insurance claims or something along the lines of it, but it’s definitely a possibility. I would advise exercising caution when turning the aids off, anyway.

          • 0 avatar
            burgersandbeer

            I would be shocked if a claim was denied in the US over something like that. You can crash in a snow storm with summer tires and insurance probably still pays out.

            Besides, most cars on the road won’t have autobrake. It’s possible insurance companies will give you a discount for having a car with auto brake, but no way claims are being denied if it isn’t working.

            I don’t know why anyone would disable it anyway. Does it actually interfere with anything or make the car less driveable? What does it hurt (other than your wallet)?

          • 0 avatar
            Sigivald

            “I don’t know why anyone would disable it anyway. Does it actually interfere with anything or make the car less driveable? What does it hurt (other than your wallet)?”

            My XC70 has the low-speed-only version of it (city braking, as they screenshot, not their highway-speed system).

            It interferes with basically nothing; the only two times it’s activated were:

            1) Parking, and a shrub at the front of the spot activated it because it didn’t realize I was parking and that wasn’t a car; a minor annoyance.

            2) In stop-and-go traffic, it once thought I wasn’t stopping fast enough, and beat me to the brakes by about 1/3 of a second when someone cut in front of me.

            It’s a non-problem, and helpful for people who don’t pay attention or have less than stellar reflexes.)

    • 0 avatar
      rpn453

      “For the one person in thirty drivers who knows the difference between Z and H rated tires, a strategically *fried* relay ought to disable “autobraking”.”

      Fixed it for ItsMeMartin.

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        There you go. Don’t remove the fuse, blow it an put it back. Cook the relay, etc…Still, with the incredible amount of drivers staring at the phone in their lap, maybe the autobrake is a good thing…

        • 0 avatar
          Lorenzo

          That’s the beauty of interconnecting the dash display. Instead of looking down, the driver is looking over at the display, and might see what he’s about to crash into out of the corner of his eye. It’s not perfect, but every little bit of safety helps.
          /sarc

    • 0 avatar
      eCurmudgeon

      I’d rather see a rule that requires cellphones to go into a locked mode when moving faster than 2 MPH. Sounds safer.

      • 0 avatar
        Mr. Orange

        How would the car know who’s using the phone between the driver and its possible many occupants?

        • 0 avatar
          MrGreenMan

          I read a story, perhaps on TTAC, at the height of Ray La Hood’s attacks on automobiles and cell phones.

          The answer then was: They need more grant money – lots more grant money – but they’re sure eventually they’ll get the technology square to figure it out if the cell phone on the center console is the driver’s or passenger’s. So, Congress, please appropriate.

          • 0 avatar
            matador

            I’ll avoid the political ramifications that would ensue, but let me just say this:

            Out here, most of the people who text and drive are younger, and in older cars. If the technology can’t be installed into a 1997 Accord or a 2003 Grand Prix, it’s basically worthless. It’ll be years before most new cars are affordable to the buyers out here.

          • 0 avatar
            jpolicke

            So, husband and wife go to cell phone store and each get new phones. Each registers phones. Exit store and swap phones. There goes your plan.

        • 0 avatar
          eCurmudgeon

          “How would the car know who’s using the phone between the driver and its possible many occupants?”

          Ideally, it wouldn’t – Passengers yapping on cellphones can be every bit as distracting as drivers doing the same.

          • 0 avatar
            beastpilot

            So when you’re on the shuttle to your rental car at the airport, you shouldn’t be able to pull up the car reservation email on your phone?

          • 0 avatar
            Sigivald

            So require all passengers to remain silent while the car is in motion, and enforce it with microphones that reduce throttle if there’s noise!

            And ban handsfree phone calling, too!

            Or, we can just let people take risks and suck it up like adults who don’t think the answer to every potential problem is “make a man with a gun stop people from doing it”.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        Except there isn’t much evidence to support the position that disabling phones will improve ones driving.

      • 0 avatar
        Spartan

        No. No. No.

        When are we just going to hold people responsible for their actions? You want to be banned from eating in your car, too? Slippery slope I’d rather not go down.

  • avatar
    SlowMyke

    I pray there’s an easy way to defeat that crap. From experience with the forward collision warning systems (not good at all) I am absolutely not happy about the prospect of this. I can only imagine the issues this will cause when a system misfires and gets rear ended for stomping the brakes unexpectedly by a car without this feature.

    • 0 avatar
      Ion

      MB’s system won’t activate the brakes if you’re already on them even lightly. Also the sensors are extremely fragile. So locate the sensor and either obstruct it with a bumber sticker/emblem or hit it with the force of a runaway shopping cart and viola no more collision assist(or lane keeping and blind spot).

    • 0 avatar
      TrailerTrash

      My ’10 MKS has the auto braking in combination with the adaptive cruise. There have been times when it misreads another vehicle I am passing and presumes it is in my lane and applies the brakes…for a split second.
      I have had time to step on the gas and over-ride the system but I also think it stops applying the brakes and resumes quickly.
      I kind of remember a few times it thinks there is something in the way when there is not.
      Not often…but over all I feel like it has helped me out.

      I have also enjoyed the early warning sound and flashing along the windshield. Although it does come on early, I will take that and can see how it would help a less aware driver.

  • avatar
    RideHeight

    This would hopefully only kick in when a certain speed is reached or creeping up a packed-in onramp will be fun.

    • 0 avatar
      sgeffe

      At least now, some of this stuff CAN be turned off, and at worst, I think throttle application over a certain point may override it.

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      Obviously.

      It knows how fast you’re going and how close the vehicle in front of you is; at 1mph, it’s not going to slam the brakes six feet away “because you’re gonna hit him!”

      This ain’t new technology.

  • avatar
    carguy

    These systems work only at lower speeds (usually < 35 MPH) so they may save some pedestrian lives but probably won't have much impact on vehicle occupant fatalities. However, this is still a good thing as it will probably reduce insurance rates by preventing low speed rear end collisions.

    • 0 avatar

      …until your future wondercar panic-brakes in front of a guy driving a ‘normal’ car.

      • 0 avatar
        Lack Thereof

        Panic stops happen all the time, for all sorts of legitimate reasons. Shit falls off of trucks, trees blow over, coffee cups spill into driver’s laps, half-ton animals dash out into traffic lanes, etc.

        Whether or not the panic stop was human-activated or machine-activated is irrelevant. The guy behind in a “normal” car is still supposed to be paying attention, and maintaining a safe following distance to react with his own panic stop. We’re not letting him off the hook here.

        Right?

      • 0 avatar
        carguy

        So what you’re really saying is that every car should have this technology?

        The “what about the car behind you” argument can also be made about having good conventional brakes.

      • 0 avatar
        Jack Denver

        THe auto brakes only go on when a front collision is otherwise inevitable so being rear ended is a risk that you have to take, just as you do when you panic stop on your own.

        The same people who are grumbling here are the ones who grumbled when they introduced hydraulic brakes, seat belts, safety glass, etc. Of course these things won’t help YOU, who is the world’s most wonderful driver and in no need of assistance.

        • 0 avatar
          Steve Biro

          Wrong, Jack. Hydraulic brakes, seat belts and safety glass didn’t take control of the car away from the driver and I didn’t complain about them.

          This new technology is a whole ‘nother smoke. And, typically, our society wants to use it as a band-aid for drivers who refuse to pay attention instead of demanding that drivers demonstrate proficiency behind the wheel.

          I have a smart phone but don’t use it while driving. Something has to be done to prevent drivers from using these devices while the car is in motion. Provide the adult supervision that these ADD-adled people need, don’t force expensive, questionable technology on the rest of us.

          But… I agree those those who caution against turning off or disarming such technology once it’s in your vehicle. Remember that we live in the most-litigious country in the world. Count on being crucified in the courtoom if you have an accident – no matter how much at fault the other guy was.

          • 0 avatar
            TrailerTrash

            ” our society wants to use it as a band-aid for drivers who refuse to pay attention”

            demand away all we want. Idiots will be idiots. Its not as if they can help it. They should not have been given a license, but once done it is hard to take away.

            This new tech is helping out not only them..but the poor fool sitting in front of them unaware at a red light.

            The so called nanny state is biased. It wants to control everything it feels is correct but refuses to “nanny” who can have/raise children. Now THAT is a fervent, cement solid god-given carefree “anybody can play” right the nanny state will forever protect.

      • 0 avatar
        Sigivald

        … and that’s worse than him hitting you because YOU hit the brakes to avoid hitting the car in front of you, why?

        (Or hitting you after you wham into the car in front of you because you weren’t payin’ attention?)

    • 0 avatar
      360joules

      Carjackers delight. Stand in front of the low speed car and they can’t drive over your ass.

      • 0 avatar
        carguy

        @360joules: Car jacking rarely happens when the driver has a free and clear way to escape by driving forward so I don’t think your argument applies to auto braking technology. But feel free to keep making stuff up.

        • 0 avatar
          SunnyvaleCA

          Carguy, I’m not following your argument here. Instead it seems you support Joules’ point perfectly.

          #1: You assert that carjacking rarely happens when the car can freely move forward.

          #2: Therefore, we reason (and you do not rebut) that carjacking usually happens when the car can NOT freely move forward.

          #3: The technology prevents a car from moving forward and/or stops moving car, changing the usual condition #1 into the problem condition of #2.

          So it seems that Joules is right: this feature might aid carjackers.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Denver

      You are misunderstanding the MPH figure. For example, the Subaru system will prevent a collision for up to 30 MPH of speed DIFFERENTIAL. You could be going 90 and the car in front of you 60 and it would still work.

  • avatar
    WhiskeyRiver

    Well… They should safeguard us against unreasonable acceleration too. No reason whatsoever that a new Shelby GT350 should accelerate too quickly.

    If Fiat/Chrysler opts out they’re going to sell a HELLA lot of cars.

  • avatar
    dwight

    Awesome. Now I can power nap longer.

  • avatar
    rpn453

    Does anybody remember what car it was with automatic braking that prevented Car and Driver from performing the slalom test? It would decide that the pylons are too close for its comfort and slam on the brakes. Just what a person needs during an emergency maneuver.

    • 0 avatar
      Steve Biro

      I don’t recall the slalom test but I recall that Car and Driver had a Kia K900’s automatic braking system go into a full panic stop on I-90 in southeastern Montana on a foggy night. C/D described the incident as “scary” but could come up with no reason for it.

      • 0 avatar
        rpn453

        I remember that one. I’m pretty sure it was mentioned in a Phillips editorial.

        Baruth wrote about a similar incident with a BMW in the pit lane of Laguna Seca.

        I’m thinking the slalom test fail was quite a few years ago. Hopefully the technology has improved.

  • avatar
    VoGo

    Well, I blame Obama and that damned CAFE. Wait, what? You say that automakers are doing this voluntarily, in response to market demand? Well, that doesn’t fit my Ayn Rand / tea party / libertarian world view, so it must be a lie propagated by the liberal media. Yeah, that’s the ticket – a combination of liberal media and mind control by the NSA/EPA.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      …and the Patriots are somehow involved as well. We need an investigation.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      To be fair, automakers cooperate with these types of efforts in order to avoid the alternative of having regulations imposed upon them without their input. It’s probably not voluntary in the normal sense of the word.

      • 0 avatar
        OneAlpha

        Pch, you do realize that that sort of reasoning is literally committing suicide for fear of death, right?

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          Just once, I’d like to see you make an intelligent point.

        • 0 avatar
          Sigivald

          No, he’s right.

          “We’re gonna make you do something unless you do something yourself first, real soon” is intimidation, not voluntarism.

          The State is still the driver – pun intended – in “cooperation” like this.

          (Even those of us that think these are fine systems and that consumer demand would make them standard completely freely – as I do – can still realize it’s basically being done to avoid having it imposed in a way that’s potentially less beneficial to the carmakers.

          I don’t think any such thing should be mandatory, but the Feds aren’t likely to agree, so that doesn’t much matter.)

      • 0 avatar
        TrailerTrash

        PCH…
        I think you are correct in that the auto makers invented the stuff and like to add it to models and packages consumers are willing to up the pricing for.
        However, no reason to put it in every car and model and force the cost to go up when the average consumer isn’t wanting it or willing to check the option.

        But regardless…soon the Obama AAIA (Affordable Auto Insurance Act) will be forced upon us. All insurance companies will be required by law to cover anybody, regardless of legality, skill, ability to pay or driving record. Then the insurance companies will be allowed to pass on all cost increases to the entire driving community.

        Just sayin….

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      +infinity

    • 0 avatar
      05lgt

      Now I have my choice of several AWD spirited driving cars with over 280 HP. #thanksobama/#thanks CAFE

  • avatar
    nickoo

    I’m not against automatic braking, however, I would rather see the government set much higher minimum braking standards for 60-0. Perhaps 130 feet or less 3 times in a row without boiling the fluid would be a good starting point. Why should performance cars be the only ones that have good braking?

    If one drives stop and go Southern California highways (which is largely due to bad design as much as bad drivers), even with plenty of following distance, there are going to be times you need to hard brake.

    • 0 avatar
      rpn453

      Is there a modern light vehicle that doesn’t have such braking capability? Car and Driver does their braking tests with six consecutive 70-0 stops and I haven’t noticed any being called out for excessive fade in recent memory.

      • 0 avatar
        Lack Thereof

        Car and Driver’s “consecutive” 70-0 stops actually have around 2 minutes of cool-down time between each stop.

        From just my memory, The Nissan Z-cars, for at least 2 generations back, have been called out for severe brake fade by C&D, including the NISMO models. A couple versions of WRX Subarus as well. I think there’s some big Infiniti SUV they also have noisily complained about.

        But often, to find any mention of brake fade in Car & Driver’s reviews, you have to download the handwritten test sheet, where the tester circles “None/Slight/Moderate/Heavy” under “Brake Fade”

        • 0 avatar
          rpn453

          The 350Z had brake problems at a fast track: Virginia International Raceway. I don’t think a few 60-0 tests are likely to expose those sorts of issues. The car was still capable of nineteen consecutive 100-0 stops – with only 20 seconds rest, including getting back to 100 mph – before fade suddenly became severe. The suddenness of the performance drop-off was the big problem. There was little warning when it happened on track.

          http://www.caranddriver.com/features/the-power-to-stop

          In the same test, but with 90 seconds of rest rather than 20, the Infiniti FX50S was only able to pull off eight 100-0 stops before fade suddenly became severe. The Cayenne seemed capable of performing such testing indefinitely, as did the Malibu, Accord, and Passat.

          Further testing on the 350Z showed a dramatic improvement in braking capacity by upgrading to ATE DOT4 fluid and performance pads. They still had a tendency for eventual sudden failure, but only after 35 straight 100-0 stops, with 20 seconds between each.

          http://www.caranddriver.com/features/z-meets-wall-we-investigate-why-the-nismo-zs-brakes-failed-at-lightning-lap

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      Why is there any compelling need for “three times in a row” full-panic stops, in a street car?

      So compelling as to require a mandate, in fact?

      Are we seeing lots of stop-and-go traffic brake failures in SoCal now? I’ve never heard of such a thing.

      (Like rpn suggests – this might be an issue on a racetrack, if you’re doing stop testing.

      Or if you’re pulling a 20,000 pound trailer down a hill.

      It’s not an issue with modern passenger cars in anything resembling a non-abusive use case.)

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    This will be entertaining on test-drives. Smash the car = no deal.

    Incidentally, when a car has such a system enabled, how is the boundary of insurance liability defined?

    Automaker: “The system is designed as an aid with no guarantees.”
    Driver’s lawyer: “The car could have easily auto-stopped in 50 ft from 35 mph, but the system failed. My client was distracted when his hot McDonald’s coffee spilled in his lap due to poor road maintenance.”
    Victim’s lawyer: “Both the driver and the mfr are liable, and the township for not patching the road.”

    Looks like a fresh crop of business for lawyers, right up there with GM ignition switches.

    • 0 avatar
      Maymar

      Hopefully, the driver would still maintain full liability – most manufacturers trumpet that these technologies aren’t infalible by any means, and are no substitution for the driver actually paying attention, but that it’s a good backup. I mean, I’ve been to enough events where a manufacturer tries to demonstrate this, and then their car plows into whatever soft obstacle they have set up because the driver panics at the last minute and starts taking action (I believe most auto-braking systems are designed to defer all control to an active driver, and only enact when nothing else is happening).

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        Much like ABS.

        ABS is not a substitute for car handling skills, but it’s made it easier to save myself when I’ve f-cked up.

        I plan to teach my sons to drive in a Jeep Wrangler that we fix up together in the mid to late 2020s, and then turn them loose in something modest with modern features for the era.

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        Including (and especially) Volvo! Only Mercedes, IIRC, managed to sweep a test I saw from the UK, but not by much! The little VW (Polo, other, sub Golf), not so much!

  • avatar
    nickoo

    I’m not against automatic braking, but I would rather the government set much higher minimum braking standards for 60-0. Perhaps 130 feet or less 3 times in a row without boiling the fluid would be a good starting point, of course tires also play a part in braking. Why should performance cars be the only ones that have good braking distance when braking is the number one highest used accident avoidance method?

    If one drives stop and go Southern California highways, even with plenty of following distance, there are going to be times you need to hard brake.

    • 0 avatar
      05lgt

      Without some form of braking assistance the majority of drivers will hit a tree before fully applying the brakes they have now. Ditto for turning at over .5G. Good tires are wasted on most commuters. They should all ride the bus, leaving the roads they pay for free for us to have fun on;).

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        Where do you live? It must be some sort of mental defective colony, as I almost never see evidence of anyone driving into trees, let alone the majority of drivers.

        • 0 avatar
          pragmatic

          So the majority where you live can make full use of their braking system?

          Reread what was written, yes its a slight use of hyperbole but …

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            Considering the vast majority of cars on the road have ABS, I’d say that most people are capable of making full use of their braking systems when there are stationary objects near their paths.

        • 0 avatar
          05lgt

          I can’t find it, but an exec at a tire co said their testing showed most drivers wpuld hit a tree before exceeding .5 G to avoid it, so they stopped designing for ever better grip in touring tires.

      • 0 avatar
        beastpilot

        Last time I was at the track, the majority of drivers in the intermediate class couldn’t brake at .5G or turn that hard either….

  • avatar
    OneAlpha

    Great.

    Now if I want to own new car, I’m gonna have to pull half the fuses and stare at a dash full of warning lights just to drive the damned thing.

    From now on, I’m just going to drive a bunch of 30-year-old, $500 project cars.

    • 0 avatar
      Ion

      Pulling fuses won’t work these systems are usually controlled by CAN networks. You would have to disconnect the radar sensors creating a short in the system. I make no guarantee the car will not go into limp mode after that though.

      • 0 avatar
        EAF

        You would probably have to flash the ECU/CPU/DME in order to disable the feature. Or maybe an obd2 plug-in like GM guys use to disable their AFM.

        I’m with you guys, for me 1995 is that magic year. I can still have ABS and airbags but none of the other systems. Also, I’m emission testing exempt so when my Cat went I got rid of it and the secondary O2. Ditto for EVAP, EGR, BCS, FPS, etc.

    • 0 avatar
      matador

      You can still go into the early 2000s.

      Really, none of the newer cars interest me (Especially when the prospect of money is introduced) I do prefer the older ones to a point. The 4bbl Dodge I have is more finicky than my EFI vehicles are….

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      Why?

      Will you drive the car in such a way that the system *ever even activates*?

      If you’re that good of a driver, you won’t.

      If you’re not, you can *use* the auto braking as a failsafe last resort, because we’re all fallible.

  • avatar
    05lgt

    Im going to start carying shredded foil to aid in passing/merging situations. The Gibsonesque physical/psychological hacks to take advantage of this wont be limited to state/LEO uses. Driving fast is always a changing skill. Sounds fun.

  • avatar
    Joss

    The bum will step off the curb with the squeegee and rub their key clip up against your non-dispensing automated braker.

    Running for saftey? Thy neighbors or in-laws will run jump in front. Only crawling babies, kittens or rare birds will be hit.

  • avatar
    RideHeight

    It’s not just our brakes, it’s our Freedom!

    SIT, HELLCAT! SIT!

  • avatar
    Mr. Orange

    If they had this in place now maybe I wouldn’t be so freaked out about driving around this city of Nashville. I have a habit of looking at my rear view at stop lights and stop signs.

    Nearly rear ended by a shuttle bus two weeks ago.

    • 0 avatar
      TrailerTrash

      Both of my worst accidents were caused by rear end collisions and idiots without insurance!
      The third, the weirdest one, was a semi driver who was pissed at me for some reason I never found out. He simply continued to hit my rear end and pushed me out and off the road in the middle of a Chicago traffic jam on I90…right under the Ohio bridge.
      Front seat totally broken off its rails. I had to stop to check on my passengers.
      Semi continued and got away. I am trying to remember these 25 years later, but I think the Troopers informed me he likely had at least 5 state driving licenses and could skate away.

  • avatar
    SoCalMikester

    better beef up those rear bumpers/quarters, because i see a lot more new cars with fancy brakes getting rear ended by non fancy cars with normal brakes and texters behind the wheel.

    maybe itll cut down on multiple collisions though

    • 0 avatar
      pragmatic

      Just look at the rate of Google cars being rear ended during autonomous driving tests.

      • 0 avatar
        RideHeight

        This. Since this is like a collision-avoidance module of the hoped for fully-autonomous AI, it suffers from the same everybody/nobody conundrum.

        Put in terms someone like me would understand, do you want to be an unarmed pacifist in a world full of humans?

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          The Google cars are crashing at below-average rates.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            Are there inclusive numbers to support that? I crunched the numbers based on their total mileage a couple months ago, not even accounting for any percentage of it that was covered on a closed circuit, and the accident rates weren’t below average. Google blames everyone else, but that doesn’t make the crashes go away or happen infrequently.

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            But the cause of those crashes has been 100% the other car.

            Clearly for maximum safety humans need to be supplanted by software but it can’t be piecemeal.

          • 0 avatar
            pragmatic

            The high number of cars that have been rear ended may technically be the other driver’s fault, but do I want a system whose unpredictable driving manners cause other drivers to rear end me?

            I also liked reports that they are having a very hard time at intersections with four-way stop signs. Seems they are not aggressive enough to get going and human drivers don’t pause long enough for the google car to see a clear intersection.

            Of course the upside maybe removal of four-way stops.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            The crash rates are below average, as are CJ’s math skills.

            If you were educated at public schools, then I sincerely apologize, as the state obviously failed you.

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            I am as skeptical of AVs ever becoming the norm as I am desirous of it happening. And the greatest barrier, dwarfing even infrastructure build-out, is the economic and political impossibility of ever removing non-compliant vehicles from the traffic mix, at least during my lifetime.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            I have stated on numerous occasions that I do not expect fully autonomous vehicles to become a reality.

            But this belief that the average poster here is going to be a better driver than the electronics is ridiculous. Humans are the problem, not the answer. To believe otherwise is to display a complete lack of knowledge of why crashes occur and why passive safety is effective while active safety is not.

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            “I have stated on numerous occasions that I do not expect fully autonomous vehicles to become a reality.”

            Yeah, I know. I was replying to pragmatic ’cause you’re no fun.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            Some humans are more problematic than others. It’s easy enough to duplicate my exercise. Take the number of recorded accidents and divide it by the number of miles that google cars have covered. Multiply the result by whatever units of measure you desire, such as 100 million vehicle miles traveled, which is the standard reporting metric for fatalities.

            Average for 2012 was 181.81 car accidents per 100 million vehicle miles traveled. Go ahead and use your special arithmetic skills to come up with a number for the google cars instead of launching your inept attempts at ad hominem attacks.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Yes, it’s good to know that by arbitrarily ignoring data that you can get a result that is inaccurate yet pleasant.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            None of the accidents google had to report happened on a closed circuit, so it is to google’s benefit that I included those miles in my calculation. You obviously know very little and understand even less.

  • avatar
    JK43123

    Maybe they just need a sensor that calls your smart phone and tells you to hit the brakes. Drivers would pay attention to that.

    John

  • avatar
    rdclark

    You guys all seem to be operating under the illusion that it’s *your* driving skills that will determine your fate when out in traffic. I for one am willing to put up with mandatory collision avoidance in my new car if it means that the texting teenager bearing down on my rear bumper at the stoplight has it on hers.

    Meanwhile, I’ve been hit three times in 45 years of driving. Every one of those drivers was a middle-aged male who swore up and down it was his first accident, he was normally a great driver, and this was a fluke.

    Everybody thinks they have godlike driving skills. Everyone is wrong.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      Most drivers believe themselves to be above average. Obviously, many of them are overestimating their own abilities.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        Pch101 – That is true. Most believe themselves to be good drivers which is above average. I haven’t seen recent statistics but the ones I do recall stated that roughly 33% of drivers should NOT have a drivers licence. Only 5-7% were good or excellent drivers. Those in that range tended to have extra driver training and/or drove professionally. The rest, a staggering 60+% were fare to average.

        Same can be said for risk assessment. We are notoriously poor at estimating risk.

        If this stuff does get added I do wish that programming would allow it to be disengaged under certain circumstances. I find that in extreme conditions i.e. back country deep snow or mud, things like stability/traction control becomes a huge liability as it isn’t programmed to handle extremes.

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          @Lou_BC
          There is social pressure to pass borderline individuals who constantly fail basic exams.
          I think in Finland, it takes several exams, before you can even think of getting a licence.
          Getting a licence should be a lot harder

        • 0 avatar
          TrailerTrash

          Isn’t this all find-able through insurance companies?
          You would think the data is readily available for finding out who is good and who is bad.

          The real panic here is when Obama introduces and rams up our asses the AAIA (Affordable Auto Insurance Act) requiring All insurance companies to insure ANY and ALL drivers regardless of record or ability….then pass on any cost increases to ALL drivers.

          I know…shut my mouth and get back to hell from where I come.

          • 0 avatar
            Mr. Orange

            Isn’t car insurance in the purvue of the individual states and not federal?

          • 0 avatar
            Sigivald

            “Isn’t car insurance in the purvue of the individual states and not federal?”

            So was health insurance, before the Feds decided it was gonna be mandatory.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            TrailerTrash – one can view it as the lesser of 2 evils. Poor drivers that cannot get insurance due to cost will drive without insurance. So what is worse? crappy driver/no insurance or crappy driver with insurance?

            It would be political suicide to make driving tests a true measure of skill.

    • 0 avatar
      MrGreenMan

      Stop flashing the goods to distract them. That behavior really invites trouble.

  • avatar
    Jimal

    Typical responses from the usual suspects. If you’re anywhere near the driver you think you are, or anywhere near as attentive and alert as you claim to be 100% of the time, whether or not you next car is equipped with this technology will be irrelevant because it will never be activated.

  • avatar
    zip89105

    This is one safety feature I feel won’t be safe. Too many false positives on vehicle forums.

  • avatar
    zip89105

    Automatic brakes, a carjacker’s dream option.

  • avatar
    64andahalf

    This is about centralized control and is being wrapped in a package of “safety” to get us to swallow it. In 10-15 years you’ll realize I’m right and not crazy.

    • 0 avatar
      Athos Nobile

      Whether it’s centralised control or not, the fact is that slowly cars are becoming more and more autonomous.

    • 0 avatar
      brandloyalty

      Your view, which understandably is shared by many on a car enthusiast website, reflects an attitude that somehow driving is an essential and integral portion of human existence. It’s probably not. So there’s nothing wrong with cars being appliances to get from one place to another, and doing it in the most efficient and safe manner feasible. Don’t worry, people still sing opera, play guitars, converse in Morse Code etc.

  • avatar
    brandloyalty

    Mobileye, which supplies some of the oem systems, has two modes of forward collision warning. One is active in stop&go creeping mode and the other works at higher speeds. Having tried one of their aftermarket systems, I have to say it worked amazingly well, even at night in the rain. To integrate it with the brakes seems like a no-brainer.

  • avatar

    Please, please, please take these systems off laser and K band. Please. Every time the V1 screams, there is a volvo in the oncoming lane. The new Acuras get the award for K band pollution and range.

    I’ve driven a few BMW and m/b with lane departure systems and tailgate warnings. After figuring out the parameters of each system out of curiosity, I shut them off. I know when I’m changing lanes, so the vibrata in the wheel gets annoying, and I stay far away from other cars tailights-by the time the sensors went off I was way too close for my taste. Like the rest of us, I do have godlike driving skills, honed rallying, on the Autobahn, and fighting NYC traffic, and never make a error driving.

    I see these systems being more useful in a later generation, but that is way too close to “google car” and “no, you can’t drive it”.

  • avatar
    Richard Chen

    I suppose this was politically easier to implement than breathalyzer ignition interlocks, which is low-hanging fruit from both a numbers and a technology standpoint. There exist on-car software based algorithms to estimate impairment, wouldn’t be surprised if that’s the next on-board nanny.

    http://www.nissan-global.com/EN/TECHNOLOGY/OVERVIEW/dpcc.html

    The press release about this announcement was rather vague: no timeframe and no mention of whether if it will be low (15mph) or high (25mph) speed auto braking would be the standard.

    • 0 avatar

      You can’t compare the breath tester to active warning. The price point for each is different. You are court ordered to install, at a cost of $120 or so per month, for a year. If it fails, only one probationer is having a bad day. It is actively maintained by the owner of the equipment, which isn’t the motorist. At the end of a year, it is pulled and probably reinstalled elsewhere. The vendor has an interest in his expensive in car breath tester.

      Look at some of the Junkyard stories. ABS usually works till the car is crushed….and the lane departure systems/tailgate systems have to have the same toughness. Their life and the life of the in car breath machine could not be more different.

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