The 3 Automakers With the Best Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) Safety System, According to Consumer Reports

Nearly every modern car has advanced car safety systems (ACSS). These safety suites are typically standard or optional and provide many of the latest driver’s aids controlled by cameras and sensors. Automatic emergency braking (AEB) is arguably the most crucial ACSS. However, some carmakers’ AEB systems are more efficient than others. According to Consumer Reports, three automakers have the best AEB technology.

How does automatic emergency braking work?

Automatic emergency braking (AEB)
Test drivers sit in a test vehicle during an automatic emergency braking maneuver | Christophe Gateau/picture alliance via Getty Images

Consumer Reports believes all modern cars should have AEB. This feature automatically activates a vehicle’s brakes if the system detects an imminent collision with another car or a similar obstacle. 

Many AEB systems can operate at high speeds, and some include pedestrian detection. A few models even offer rear AEB, activating the brakes if the system detects an obstacle behind a reversing vehicle.

AEB operates like forward collision warning (FCW), but there’s a fundamental difference between the two. FCW instructs the driver to apply the brakes manually via an audible and/or visual alert. If the driver becomes incapacitated, the car’s occupants might still experience the full impact of a collision. 

Consumer Reports says these 3 carmakers have the best AEB technology

According to Consumer Reports, Genesis boasts one of the most satisfactory AEB mechanisms. The luxury automaker calls its system Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist With Pedestrian Detection. It can slow the car from speeds between 5 mph and 110 mph if it detects a collision.

The system can also stop the vehicle for pedestrians at speeds between 5 and 45 mph. Whenever this feature detects any obstacle, it signals the driver through a visual and audible alert on the dashboard. Drivers can change which speeds trigger the warnings in the car’s user settings.

Consumer Reports also praises Lexus for its AEB. Models equipped with the Lexus Safety System will have a basic pre-collision system. According to Lexus, this feature reduces the vehicle’s speed by up to 25 mph if it’s about to hit another car. It also includes audible and visual alerts.

Newer Lexus vehicles have Lexus Safety System+ 2.0, which adds pedestrian detection. It can sense pedestrians and cyclists at speeds between 7 and 50 mph. 

In some cases, buyers can upgrade the Lexus pre-collision system with driver attention monitoring. It will trigger a flashing light and sound if the driver isn’t facing forward when there’s an oncoming obstacle.

Some of Tesla’s features have received mixed reviews, but most drivers and Consumer Reports experts agree the automaker’s AEB system is excellent. It activates at speeds between 3 mph and 90 mph. And drivers can apply the brakes before the alert sounds if they want more braking force.

Tesla warns that AEB will be disabled if the driver accelerates the vehicle too quickly when an obstacle is nearby. It will also deactivate if the driver manually applies the brakes at the same time as the system.

What other features do advanced car safety systems include?

In addition to the features covered above, a car’s ACSS might include two types of lane-keeping assistance. If it detects the vehicle traveling outside of roadway lines, it will gently steer the car back into place. However, lane departure warning usually alerts the driver only if the car begins to veer out of its lane.

ACSS can also enhance parking lot safety via blind-spot monitors and parking obstruction warnings. In addition, adaptive cruise control and dynamic driving assistance automatically control a car’s speed and steering wheel maneuvers at certain speeds. Regardless of the number of ACSS features in a vehicle, remember that none is guaranteed to prevent collisions. 

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