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Europe making Autonomous Emergency Braking tech compulsory in new cars


August 8, 2012

The European Commission plans to make it compulsory for all new cars to have Autonomous Emergency Braking Systems by 2014

The European Commission plans to make it compulsory for all new cars to have Autonomous Emergency Braking Systems by 2014

The European Commission plans to make Autonomous Emergency Braking systems (AEBs) a mandatory requirement in all new vehicles on the Continent by 2014. These systems typically use one or a combination of radar, lidar or video-recognition technologies to measure the distances between vehicles, warn drivers if they get too close, and to then engage the brakes if the driver fails to take any action.

Research led by the Commission found that such systems could reduce road traffic accidents by 27 per cent, saving some 8,000 lives a year.

Michiel van Ratingen, the Secretary General of Europe's New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP) said, “We don’t want to force them [car makers] into this immediately, but we’ve made it very clear that the best way to ensure a five-star rating from 2014 is to have AEB on the vehicle.”

It's estimated that the systems could also save the economy between €5 billion (US$6.1 billion) and €8 billion (US$9.9 billion) a year in crash and accident-related costs.

“Our studies indicate that the resulting reduction in congestion due to accidents would represent an economic value of about €100 million (US$123.8 million) in Germany alone," said the European Commission's Phillipe Jean.

Commercial vehicles will be required to have the systems outfitted by November of 2013, with passenger vehicles likely to follow soon after in 2014.

According to Euro NCAP, 79 per cent of vehicles available for purchase today in Europe are not AEB equipped.

Euro NCAP has also said that currently AEB is found mostly in premium branded vehicles such as the Volvo XC60, but the systems are increasingly being optioned on higher-volume vehicles like the Mazda CX-5 and Ford Focus.

Euro NCAP provides an overview of AEB systems in the video below.

Sources: Transport Research News, Euro NCAP


Didn't think this through to well. So now when some idiot is asleep in the left lane, you vehicle automatically slows. Why not send a blaring internal horn to the left lane hog?

Sure, it has it's place for safety but how does it affect the perpetual distracted driver in front of you?


Yet another reason to stick to my old Honda

Michał Borsuk

If only they would put a system like this into the cars of Tail-gating drivers... They could have Mr T warning them that they're "Too close Sucker!" before gradually reducing the horse power available to the driver. I mean if they won't learn what's safe for themselves maybe this could teach them.

John McMullen

I would hate to drive one of those cars. I don't want my car doing anything I didn't make it do. I hope this isn't mandatory in the US in my lifetime. I'm perfectly capable of driving my own car without computer systems doing it for me. If you want to reduce accidents, produce better drivers, not more complex cars.

Tyler Totten

waiting for the moron lawsuit when this system leaves a "responsible driver" stopped on the railroad crossing when an AMTRAK or a freight train comes through.

Bill Bennett

I drive a Prius with AEB, and it does not in any way affect how one drives normally. The AEB only activates if a collision is imminent. This means that it knows at what speed the vehicle is travelling, the speed of the vehicle or danger is approaching and how long it would safely take to brake to avoid impact. If the driver does not brake in time before this "minimal braking distance for the speed", the AEB brakes instead, and as soon as the driver puts his foot on the brake, it modulates braking force to avoid collision (many don't brake hard enough in an emergency). If the obstacle or vehicle in front is no longer present, ie through avoiding the obstacle by steering around it, the AEB restores full brake control to the driver.

The AEB in the Prius also activates the seatbelts, airbags, fuel shutoff etc, in preparation for a collision, before it happens. The AEB system also works in the dark, and when visbility is poor ie fog/rain. It once activated when a kangaroo jumped out of the darkness from the side of the road, the seatbelts pulling us back into the seat, and the car doing an emergency brake, all before I had a chance to get my foot on the brake. It's like being a passenger just holding the steering wheel!! Luckily the kangaroo kept on jumping across the road and the AEB released the brake and we continued on. It also recharged the seatbelt tensioning system with a whirring sound.

The combination of adaptive cruise control allows for even more comfortable and safer freeway travelling, as it ensures that your vehicle has enough stopping distance behind the vehicle in front of you, plus it is much smoother because it actually knows the speed of the vehicle merging into your lane, and compensates accordingly. A normal driver cannot accurately adjust the speed to that of the car in front, and typically only brakes if the car in front shows it's brake lights, which is often too late to respond.

Whilst in ECO mode it also smooths out acceleration, and likewise reduces the acceleration of the vehicles following, which helps save fuel even in the vehicle behind. Plus by keeping the right distance it prevents/reduces stop and go traffic. A German study showed that adaptive cruise in 15% of vehicles would actually reduce +85% of stop and go traffic. All up AEB and adaptive cruise should be legislated for all vehicles, including trucks.


The truth of the matter is that Euro NCAP doesn't exist to improve safety for European drivers or provide some economic benefits. The truth is that anytime the Chinese car manufacturers come close to being able to get into the European market some emission or safety standard is changed again as a form of market protectionism (at the expense of consumers).

Lets say this system costs ~€1000 per car and we will have ~100.000.000 cars in Europe. Total cost: €100 BILLION. That is €12.5 MILLION/life. And what were the economic benefits again? A couple hundred million for the entirety of Europe?


Before long, police would have AEB jammers that can be pointed at the front end of an AEB car and make it stop.


Imagine the Top Gear boys trying to play car soccer with AEB equipped vehicles. And imagine Clarkson's colourful comments. Bring it on??!!

Gerry Lavell
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