Automotive Engineering ExpertsAutomotive engineering experts are often required in litigation involving traffic accidents. In accident reconstructions, these experienced engineers consult and testify on how vehicles operate and whether there was a mechanical failure. Their unbiased opinion is often a determining factor in the outcome of an automotive engineering lawsuit. In an effort to help prevent crashes or reduce their severity, twenty automakers representing 99% of vehicle sales have committed to making automatic emergency braking systems standard on all new vehicles by 2022.

In a recent study, AAA found that two-thirds of Americans familiar with the technology believe that automatic emergency braking systems are designed to avoid crashes without driver intervention. Many automotive engineering experts advise that this is not necessarily true. John Nielsen, AAA’s managing director of Automotive Engineering and Repair, states, “The reality is that today’s systems vary greatly in performance, and many are not designed to stop a moving car.” AAA wants to educate consumers on AEB limitations before they get behind the wheel of an automobile equipped with the automatic emergency braking system technology.

AAA Key Findings

Systems were tested and compared based on the capabilities and limitations stated in the owner’s manuals and grouped into two categories ‐‐ those designed to prevent crashes and those designed to lessen crash severity.

The systems capable of preventing crashes reduced vehicle speeds by twice that of systems designed to lessen crash severity. (79 percent speed reduction vs. 40 percent speed reduction).

With speed differentials of under 30 mph, systems designed to prevent crashes successfully avoided collisions in 60 percent of test scenarios.

The systems designed to only reduce vehicle speed were also able to completely avoid crashes in nearly one‐third (33 percent) of crash scenarios.

When traveling at 45 mph and approaching a static vehicle, a scenario designed to push systems beyond the stated limitations, the systems designed to prevent crashes reduced speeds by 74 percent overall and avoided crashes in 40 percent of scenarios. In contrast, systems designed to lessen crash severity were only able to reduce vehicle speed by 9 percent overall.

More information: AAA Automotive Fact Sheet.