Automatic Emergency Braking Standard

IEEE Spectrum NA January 2022Brakes That Slam Themselves
Automatic emergency braking will become standard in Europe

Followed in the year 2030 by “Rear collision rates skyrocket”.and “Improved Rear Bumper Reinforcement Standards in Europe”.

I was on a clinic for one of these systems. The first couple of runs I hit the brakes myself. Yes the danger is that following cars don’t have the same systems fitted. All this tech and all they need to do is use the 2 second rule.

It is real hard to make people drive faster, unless you are real close behind them.
Had a person (I assume) flash his bright lights at me the other night. I flashed my brake lights back.
The real problem is impatient people will try to play games to get other drivers to do what they want.

My concern is people will think they are safer, and will drive faster in responce.
How good are automatic breaking at detecting deer at night.

I grew up learning the 2 second rule. Then I moved to the Los Angeles area, where leaving a 2-second gap means having 2 or 3 people per minute moving into said gap as they maneuver to try and gain a few more car lengths. If you are paying attention, as in “in fear of your life”, you (and the other drivers around you) can usually reduce the 2 second gap to about 1 second or less…emphasis on usually.

I find I have less close calls when I use the Adaptive Cruise Control on my 2018 Camry. It’s like there are two heads, better than one, thing going on. There are three levels of following distance. I have not measured or timed them, but I think of them as the 1, 2, and 3 second rule. The system is impressive. It will automatically bring me to a full stop. When the traffic starts moving, I usually hit RESUME and it accelerates to keep up with the car ahead. I’ve gone hundreds of miles on the Interstate and tens of miles on highways without touching the accelerator or brake. It’s nowhere near autonomous, with no car in front it’s full speed ahead, but I like it!

It also has the automatic emergency braking thing too. The instrument screen flashes red with the word BRAKE! as it is applying braking to avoid collision.

Having an automatic emergency braking standard is probably a good thing in the long run.

Why would an automatic brake be any more dangerous than drivers who see objects on the road in front of them.

  1. When you deploy one test system, there’s a system start up check before every drive on a test track with a professional driver.
  2. When you deploy a pilot program, there’s performance monitoring on all the cars, and the drivers involved are being paid to do the job well.
  3. When you deploy to the general public, you make them even less interested in looking up from FB on their phone.

The automatic braking has only just exited phase 2 and entered phase 3. Expect some false alarms due to people overusing / overrelying on it. If I can’t tell you exactly how, that’s just failure of the imagination on my part. I’ve just seen enough technology deployments with unintended consequences. I am making a bit of a cheap joke about it - my goal is to get some idea of what others think the unintended consequences might be.

Lots of children hurt/killed by deploying airbags in the '80’s until disabling circuits were put into seats.
Have you been following the stories about Tesla autopilot?

That’s a good question. In my limited experience the AEB systems are very aggressive when they finally cut in and following drivers may find it hard to brake in time. Of course there is the more general problem that the following cars may not even be able to see the obstruction that is causing the leading car to brake.

What’s the difference then now? If you see a dog run out, will you not try to break real hard, and will the car behind you not see the dog?
The car behind you may have a problem with following too close, but how can you fix that?
Try pressing the brake a few times, and the young drivers don’t seem to back off.

I am driving on a downtown street. The guy in front of me appears to be doing a right turn, out of my way, and a pedestrian steps in front of him. If he is a van or an SUV, I don’t see the pedestrian.

At some point, we all need to hit the brakes. The rest of us need to follow at a safe distance.

Simple question. how often do you invoke ABS? I deliberately set it off once on each new car I pick up, the last time I actually set it off in a real braking event was years ago, probably 6 years.

An AEB stop is calibrated to use the ABS, therefore it is far more aggressive than what I (at least) drive at. Very few stops are at more than 0.5g, from real world data. ABS is around 0.8-1.0g for dry weather, for cars, on asphalt

Rarely, except when on snow/ice. Last time I had to stop hard enough for the ABS kick in on dry pavement, we got rear-ended by a girl driving her uncle’s Subaru, and pretty sure she was looking at her phone at the time…could see her coming in the rearview mirror, and had time to holler at my son to sit up…low speed impact, nothing broken on our old beater Corolla, but her radiator had a couple of cracks in the mounting brackets and a cracked/loose headlight surround.

An additional advantage of ABS is braking and turning at the same time, which in the old days we were taught to avoid [and at least one of us still do]. It is also key in some collision avoidance systems that selectively apply braking to each wheel, and some traction control systems.

I have Auto emergency braking in my ute. It works well to stop crashes in traffic, must admit I already have my foot on the brake. However, in the back streets every now and then for no reason it discharges and scares the crap out of me.

It happens in the same space of road every day when I drive to work, so that is ok I expect it now, but when I find a new spot that isn’t fun.

After reviewing each area there are a few possible reasons but I am yet to figure it out.

  1. Change in road to a fully painted reflective surface.
  2. Side barriers to close to one way road
  3. Trees overhanging.

I assume in time the tech will improve to remove these issues.

That sounds very mysterious. The one I’m used to is camera based, so I suppose it might detect those things, but I don’t remember a false application of AEB in the last 5 years. Obviously if its radar based the reflections off the road wouldn’t matter.

I do get some false positives with collision alert, due to cross traffic.

What are the sensors that can detect stripes painted on pavement, e.g. on a 2018 Mercedes? I read the ones in my [Nissan] truck back bumper for backing proximity are sonar type.


Stripes would have to be detected by cameras. There are 3D cameras out there, typically I believe, used by the Teslas that keep smashing into stuff.

LiDARs are combined with cameras, to apply colour to the 3D scanned images. I don’t know if they do this in real time. At 100kph, the LiDAR needs a range of a least 100m. A camera watching road stripes needs to see perhaps 30m ahead.

My automobile GPS seems to know all the warning signs beside the road. It does not detect them. It just “knows” they are there.

This is about collision avoidance so I should not have gone off-topic but have wondered about some sensors. The Mercedes ones I referred to are for a parking system that composes an overhead view as if a camera was hovering above. Infrared could detect temperature differences between paint stripes and asphalt. I suppose I need to put a hand in front of one sometime. I am skeptical about ‘sonar’, perhaps just an expedient term for use in a truck manual. Those bumper-placed sensors look very much like the Mercedes ones.
I wonder if your GPS receives reports like a telephone-installable programme apparently does. It can alert to various hazards and the presence of some constable units.

Ultrasonic sonar was the original sensor used in parking sensors (the annoying/vital beep that tells you how close you are to blades of grass but not fenceposts). I suspect that they were based on the distance sensors used in Polaroid cameras.

The birds eye view cameras are a synthetic image produced by recalculating the location of the pixels from the normal cameras. The one I tried was absolutely excellent, but I am wondering if they ever get fooled. That is, can you generate a scene in which the algorithms will synthesise something that isn’t there, or hide something that is.


My GPS does traffic reports.