Intelligent Braking Systems May Save Lives

Car braking on road leaving tread marksWe’ve talked about the fact that 40 percent of drivers never hit their brakes during a crash before. This has raised an interesting debate about passive safety measures versus active safety measures.

Passive safety measures are things like safety belts, ABS, stability control and mandatory vehicle compliance laws. The idea here is that these things will reduce injuries caused by certain problems. Safety belts prevent injuries caused by crash impact; vehicle compliance laws prevent crashes caused by unsafe vehicles, etc.

Now, manufacturers are talking about ‘intelligent’ braking systems that actively avoid crashes. These intelligent braking systems will activate regardless of the drivers’ actions, all based on the vehicle’s surroundings. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the following manufacturers will sell 2013 model year vehicles equipped with forward warning and automatic braking systems: Acura, Audi, BMW, Infiniti, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Subaru, Toyota and Volvo.

These braking systems will serve to inform and warn the driver of dangerous situations and even take control of braking systems to avoid or minimize harm, if necessary.

The Globe and Mail observes that “with the exception of Subaru and Toyota they are all high-end manufacturers. As is usually the case, new technologies first appear on expensive cars where the added cost is more readily accepted, filtering down as the cost drops with volume and advances in technology.”

According to The Globe and Mail, “the IIHS estimates these systems can prevent or lessen the impact in 1.9 million crashes a year – reducing injury to 66,000 occupants and the deaths of almost 900 others – in the U.S. alone.”

Let us know what you think. Leave your comment in the section below. Do you believe that these braking systems can work to make our roads safer?