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Recently, the auto industry has been coming out with vehicles that offer systems to foresee an upcoming collision, therefore applying automatic brakes. An Pennsylvania-based auto safety group has recently come out with their ratings on these systems. Despite the high costs of this feature, it has had positive results.
The auto safety group notes that while the front crash prevention systems are likely to add over a thousand dollars to a new car, their ratings of these systems let the buyers know which systems are the most reliable and worth the money.
There are three categories in which these systems are rated. They include basic, advanced, and superior. To increase the safety of the vehicle in the situation of a front crash, these systems significantly reduce the speed of the vehicle, sometimes stopping it completely. In any case, they reduce the impact’s severity, which can have remarkable positive results in the incident of a crash.
In order to be considered an advanced system, a vehicle needed to completely avoid a crash, or reduce the speed of the car by a minimum of 5 mph in tests completed in the 12 or 25 mph zones, but not both. During these tests, cars were driven head first towards a large soft box, resembling the rear of a stopped car. However, some of the systems that achieved an advanced rating were not able to do so at a higher speed.
The Subaru Legacy and the Subaru Outback stood alone as the only vehicles that were able to completely avoid a crash, even at the low speed of 25 mph. There were 74 different vehicles tested during this round, of which 7 passed as being superior. These included the Cadillac ATS and SRX, Subaru Legacy and Outback, Mercedes C-class, and the Volvo XC60 and S60.
Vehicles earing the advanced rating also included the Volvo XC60 and S60, but with lower quality braking systems. Some other advanced vehicles included the Acura MDX, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Audi A4 and Q5, Lexus ES, and Mazda6.
In order to receive a basic rating, a car does not need to brake on its own, but it does need to alert the driver of an upcoming collision in 5 out of 7 tests. Most of the basic vehicles did not include automatic braking systems. However, the few that did, fell short.
Some of the basic cars did not perform well enough and only had minimal braking. Many of the brands who got this rating plan to perfect their systems in order to move up in the rankings.
Some cars, such as the Prius V hybrid wagon, were so low on the scale of efficiency that they were not included in tests. The Prius in particular did not meet the NHTSA criteria for collision warning or automatic braking, so it also did not meet the criteria to be included in the tests.
This technology is growing to becoming the norm. It is a safety feature that can be very beneficial to drivers after more tests and tweaks to the systems. Performing these tests lets automakers know where they are falling short.
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