Guide to Automatic Emergency Braking
How AEB can put the brakes on car collisions
If a car equipped with automatic emergency braking (AEB) senses an imminent collision, and the driver doesn’t react in time, the car starts braking on its own. Some systems apply only a portion of the braking power, so drivers will want to apply the full brakes as well. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) data show rear-end collisions are cut by 50 percent on vehicles that are equipped with AEB and forward collision warning (FCW).
Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB): The vehicle stops independently when it senses a crash is imminent to avoid a crash, or to reduce the severity of a crash that can’t be avoided.
Forward Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB): Brakes are automatically applied to prevent a collision or reduce impact force while the car is traveling forward.
Rear Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB-rear): Brakes are automatically applied to prevent a collision or reduce impact force while the car is traveling in Reverse.
Automatic Emergency Braking With Pedestrian Detection (AEB-ped): Brakes are automatically applied to prevent a collision or reduce impact force with pedestrians or bicyclists while the car is traveling forward.
City Speed AEB (AEB-city): Brakes are automatically applied to prevent a collision or reduce impact force at city speeds (which are typically 55 mph and below).
Highway Speed AEB (AEB-highway): Brakes are automatically applied to prevent a collision or reduce impact force at highway speeds (above 55 mph).
In a recent survey, we asked CR members to rate their experiences with the advanced safety and driver-assist systems on their model-year 2015-2019 cars. Respondents answered questions about their satisfaction with the systems and told us which ones helped them avoid a crash. The survey covered about 72,000 vehicles. See the highlights below.
Which Brands Do AEB Best?
Most satisfying systems, according to CR members: Genesis, Lexus, Tesla
One Genesis owner wrote, “Very effective, seems set just right and most of all, it always works.” Another said: “Came upon stopped traffic on highway and system braked before I reacted.” A Tesla driver wrote that the automatic braking function “has helped me avoid one accident, I’ll never buy a car without it.”
Least satisfying: Acura, Mazda, Honda
An Acura owner said, “Way too many false alarms. The system has engaged emergency braking when not necessary on many, many occasions. Even passengers think it's ridiculous.” A Mazda driver explained, “Often the automatic braking applies at full force when a more modulated brake apply would have been sufficient and preferred.”
CR’s Take: More automakers are making FCW and AEB available in new cars, but the two safety features are still not standard equipment across the industry. CR believes these systems should come with all trim levels, given their ability to save lives. Extra credit is awarded in our Overall Score for models that have systems that can operate at highway speeds and detect pedestrians as standard equipment.
Brand Names for AEB
|Acura||Collision mitigation braking system/AcuraWatch|
|Alfa Romeo||Forward collision warning plus|
|Audi||Pre sense front|
|Audi||Pre sense city|
|BMW||Frontal collision warning with city collision mitigation|
|BMW||Collision warning with city braking function|
|Buick||Front pedestrian detection|
|Buick||Front automatic braking/Forward automatic braking|
|Buick||Low speed forward automatic braking|
|Cadillac||Low Speed Forward Automatic Emergency Braking|
|Cadillac||Enhanced Forward Automatic Emergency Braking|
|Cadillac||Front Pedestrian Braking|
|Chevrolet||Automatic Emergency Braking|
|Chevrolet||Front automatic braking|
|Chevrolet||Low speed forward automatic braking|
|Chevrolet||Front pedestrian braking|
|Chrysler||Full speed forward collision warning with active braking|
|Chrysler||Full speed forward collision warning plus|
|Fiat||Full speed forward collision warning with active braking|
|Ford||Pre-Collision Assist with Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) (Pedestrian Detection, Forward Collision Warning, Dynamic Brake Support)/Ford Co-Pilot360|
|Genesis||Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist with Pedestrian Detection|
|GMC||Low speed forward automatic braking|
|GMC||Front pedestrian braking|
|GMC||Forward automatic braking|
|Honda||Collision mitigation braking system/Honda Sensing|
|Hyundai||Forward collision-avoidance Assist|
|Hyundai||Forward Collision-avoidance Assist w/Pedestrian Detection|
|Infiniti||Forward emergency braking|
|Infiniti||Intelligent brake assist|
|Infiniti||Forward emergency braking with pedestrian detection|
|Jeep||Full speed forward collision warning with active braking|
|Kia||Autonomous emergency braking|
|Lexus||Pre-collision system/Lexus Safety System+2.0|
|Lexus||Pre-collision system with pedestrian detection/Lexus Safety System+2.0|
|Lexus||Pre-collision system with advanced driver attention monitor/Lexus Safety System+2.0|
|Lincoln||Pre-Collision Assist with Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) (dynamic brake support (DBS), forward collision warning (FCW), pedestrian detection)/Lincoln Co-Pilot360|
|Mazda||Smart city brake support/smart brake support|
|Mercedes-Benz||Collision prevention assist plus|
|Mercedes-Benz||Active braking assist|
|Mini||Frontal collision warning with city collision mitigation|
|Mitsubishi||Forward collision mitigation system|
|Nissan||Automatic emergency braking w/pedestrian detection|
|Nissan||Automatic emergency braking|
|Porsche||Adaptive cruise control + PAS Porsche Active Safe|
|Porsche||Warn and Brake Assist|
|Toyota||Pre-collision system with pedestrian detection/TSS-P|
|Volkswagen||Front Assist with Pedestrian Monitoring|