One Of The Most Significant Safety Features since the Seat Belt

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The Volvo XC90, first sold in the United Kingdom in 2002, is well-known for its safety features. In the over 50,000 cars sold, zero casualties have been reported with the vehicle. In fact, this car could easily be dubbed the safest car in the world. According to Thatcham Research, an independent laboratory, the Volvo XC90 is the safest car it has ever tested.

What is the reason for the car’s outstanding record in safety? The car has a number of important safety features, including camera and radar systems to help warn drivers about oncoming dangers on the road. However, what really makes the car’s safety features stand out is its use of Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB).

What Is the Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) System?

The AEB is a collision avoidance system that has been installed in a number of vehicles that allow the car to automatically detect when a collision is about to occur. The device provides an initial warning to the driver when there is an imminent risk of a collision or the car can also autonomously stop by braking, steering or both, to avoid hitting another vehicle or object. The AEB utilizes cameras, radars or lasers to detect oncoming danger. According to Thatcham Research, the AEB is being heralded as the most significant vehicle development since the seat belt.

For the most part, the AEB systems are known as “forward-looking,” which means that the system prevents crashes when one car “rear-ends” or runs into the back of another. These types of accidents are commonly known as fender benders, happening in the normal course of travel. These types of accidents account for one-fourth of all auto accidents reported, and normally result in whiplash or soft tissue injuries, and other delayed injury symptoms after a car accident.

Researchers are now looking to other types of accidents to see what an AEB system can do to avoid those accidents and resulting injuries.

Concerns Regarding the AEB

One major concern regarding the implementation of the AEB system on all cars is the issue of complacency. Will drivers become too reliant on the automatic ability of their vehicles to sense impending dangers, or do drivers still need to stay equally alert while behind the wheel?

For the time being, it is not anticipated that all future cars will have AEB systems installed, so it is necessary for drivers to remain alert and distraction free while driving.  However, arguably drivers who are operating vehicles with an AEB system will need to do the same.

Insurance Rate Reduction

Along with reducing the number of accidents on the road, it is also the hope of developers that the AEB could reduce insurance rates, as well.

Should AEB Systems Be Standard on all Vehicles?

It is unclear how long an AEB will not be considered standard on vehicles. Some manufacturers, such as the Jaguar Land Rover, have the AEB as a standard feature on all of their vehicles. Other companies like Ford and Kia offer it as an option. Safety experts believe that this device should not be just a feature or an option but rather a safety standard on all vehicles.


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