Guide to Automatic Emergency Braking

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If a car equipped with automatic emergency braking (AEB) senses an imminent collision, and the driver doesn’t react in time, the car starts braking on its own. Some systems apply only a portion of the braking power, so drivers will want to apply the full brakes as well. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) data show rear-end collisions are cut by 50 percent on vehicles that are equipped with AEB and forward collision warning (FCW).

Common variations:

Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB): The vehicle stops independently when it senses a crash is imminent to avoid a crash, or to reduce the severity of a crash that can’t be avoided.

Forward Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB): Brakes are automatically applied to prevent a collision or reduce impact force while the car is traveling forward.

Rear Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB-rear): Brakes are automatically applied to prevent a collision or reduce impact force while the car is traveling in Reverse.

Automatic Emergency Braking With Pedestrian Detection (AEB-ped): Brakes are automatically applied to prevent a collision or reduce impact force with pedestrians or bicyclists while the car is traveling forward.

City Speed AEB (AEB-city): Brakes are automatically applied to prevent a collision or reduce impact force at city speeds (which are typically 50 mph and below).

Highway Speed AEB (AEB-highway): Brakes are automatically applied to prevent a collision or reduce impact force at highway speeds (above 50 mph).

In a recent survey, we asked CR members to rate their experiences with the advanced safety and driver-assist systems on their model-year 2015-2019 cars. Respondents answered questions about their satisfaction with the systems and told us which ones helped them avoid a crash. The survey covered about 72,000 vehicles. See the highlights below.

Which Brands Do AEB Best?

Most satisfying systems, according to CR members: Genesis, Lexus, Tesla
One Genesis owner wrote, “Very effective, seems set just right and most of all, it always works.” Another said: “Came upon stopped traffic on highway and system braked before I reacted.” A Tesla driver wrote that the automatic braking function “has helped me avoid one accident, I’ll never buy a car without it.”

Least satisfying: Acura, Mazda, Honda
An Acura owner said, “Way too many false alarms. The system has engaged emergency braking when not necessary on many, many occasions. Even passengers think it's ridiculous.” A Mazda driver explained, “Often the automatic braking applies at full force when a more modulated brake apply would have been sufficient and preferred.”

CR’s Take: More automakers are making FCW and AEB available in new cars, but the two safety features are still not standard equipment across the industry. CR believes these systems should come with all trim levels, given their ability to save lives. Extra credit is awarded in our Overall Score for models that have systems that can operate at highway speeds and detect pedestrians as standard equipment.

Automatic Emergency Braking
Do owners like it?
Say the system helped them avoid a crash
Trust the system to work every time
Source: Consumer Reports' Advanced Safety Systems Survey.

Guide to Advanced Safety Systems

We tell you which safety systems owners like, and the brands that do them best.

Consumer Reports has no financial relationship with advertisers on this site.



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Make AEB Name/Package
Acura Collision mitigation braking system/AcuraWatch
Alfa Romeo Forward collision warning plus
Audi Pre sense front
Audi Pre sense city
BMW Frontal collision warning with city collision mitigation
BMW Collision warning with city braking function
Buick Front pedestrian detection
Buick

Front automatic braking/Forward automatic braking

Buick Low speed forward automatic braking
Cadillac Low Speed Forward Automatic Emergency Braking
Cadillac Enhanced Forward Automatic Emergency Braking
Cadillac Front Pedestrian Braking
Chevrolet Automatic Emergency Braking
Chevrolet Front automatic braking
Chevrolet Low speed forward automatic braking
Chevrolet Front pedestrian braking
Chrysler Full speed forward collision warning with active braking
Chrysler Full speed forward collision warning plus
Fiat Full speed forward collision warning with active braking
Ford Pre-Collision Assist with Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) (Pedestrian Detection, Forward Collision Warning, Dynamic Brake Support)/Ford Co-Pilot360
Genesis Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist with Pedestrian Detection
GMC

Low speed forward automatic braking

GMC Front pedestrian braking
GMC Forward automatic braking
Honda

Collision mitigation braking system/Honda Sensing

Hyundai Forward collision-avoidance Assist
Hyundai

Forward Collision-avoidance Assist w/Pedestrian Detection

Infiniti Forward emergency braking
Infiniti Intelligent brake assist
Infiniti Forward emergency braking with pedestrian detection
Jeep Full speed forward collision warning with active braking
Kia Autonomous emergency braking
Lexus Pre-collision system/Lexus Safety System+2.0
Lexus Pre-collision system with pedestrian detection/Lexus Safety System+2.0
Lexus Pre-collision system with advanced driver attention monitor/Lexus Safety System+2.0
Lincoln Pre-Collision Assist with Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) (dynamic brake support (DBS), forward collision warning (FCW), pedestrian detection)/Lincoln Co-Pilot360
Mazda

Smart city brake support/smart brake support

Mercedes-Benz Collision prevention assist plus
Mercedes-Benz Active braking assist
Mini Frontal collision warning with city collision mitigation
Mitsubishi Forward collision mitigation system
Nissan

Automatic emergency braking w/pedestrian detection

Nissan Automatic emergency braking
Porsche Adaptive cruise control + PAS Porsche Active Safe
Porsche

Warn and Brake Assist

Subaru

Pre-collision braking—EyeSight

Toyota Pre-collision system with pedestrian detection/TSS-P
Volkswagen Front assist
Volkswagen Front Assist with Pedestrian Monitoring
Volvo City Safety
  • Forward Collision Warning
  • Adaptive Cruise Control
  • Blind Spot Warning
  • Lane Departure Warning & Lane Keeping Assist
  • Rear Cross Traffic Warning & Rearview Cameras

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