Breaking Down Brakes: AAA finds reverse AEB not ‘foolproof’; stresses importance of correct ADAS repairs

Toronto, Ontario — The American Automobile Association (AAA) has found through testing that reverse automatic emergency braking (AEB) isn’t foolproof.

AAA engineers specifically wanted to test to see how reverse AEB with cross-traffic intervention performs when drivers backed out of a parking space and into the path of an oncoming vehicle with an adjacent parked vehicle blocking the way. They also wanted to test these same systems with a stationary child pedestrian behind the vehicle.

Tests were conducted using four 2023 model-year vehicles including the 2023 Hyundai Tucson Hybrid Limited AWD, the Lexus RX350 Premium, the Mazda CX-30 2.5 Turbo AWD Premium Plus Package and the Volkswagen Tiguan 2.0T SEL R-Line.

During each test run, the test vehicle sat in a parking space and was held in reverse with the brake pedal by the test driver. The subject vehicle then approached in a simulated near lane toward the test vehicle, reaching 15 mph at a minimum of 200 feet from the right side of the test vehicle.

Reverse AEB systems automatically applied brakes in 65 percent of test runs and prevented a collision in 2.5 percent of test runs in the backing-up scenarios involving a vehicle crossing behind the test vehicle.

With the child pedestrian, reverse AEB automatically applied brakes in 75 percent of test runs and prevented a collision in 50 percent of test runs.

“Drivers should not solely rely on these advanced driving systems to prevent collisions, but instead use them to enhance their awareness of their surroundings and support safe driving,” said Greg Brannon, AAA’s director of automotive engineering, in a news release.

“Above all, vehicle testing requirements for these systems should be updated to be consistent, taking into consideration unusual objects and more realistic scenarios to achieve the greatest safety benefit to drivers, pedestrians and cyclists.”

The research findings report adds that “drivers should understand how these safety features work and give them the best chance to provide benefit. These systems rely on sensors that are typically mounted on the rear bumper area of the vehicle. When backing up with an obstructed view, drivers should back up cautiously and pause once the rear of their vehicle has cleared the obstruction to allow for these sensors to detect cross traffic. This will give the system more time to detect a potential collision and bring the vehicle to a stop.”

Based on its findings, AAA recommends that drivers shouldn’t rely on reverse AEB systems to prevent collisions when backing up and instead should use backup cameras and other sensors to help enhance awareness.

As always, following OEM repair procedures is paramount for safe and proper repairs to ensure vehicles will protect passengers as intended fresh out of the factory if a future collision occurs. As AAA notes, ensuring advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) work properly post-repair is part of that process, including pre-and post-scans and recalibrations.

When it comes to ADAS calibrations, one of the most important things for repairers to know is that their chosen scan tool returns accurate information in line with OEM repair procedures and that their shop setup is conducive to proper calibrations from level floors to correct lighting and more.


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