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Night Moves: IIHS to develop nighttime AEB testing standards

Toronto, Ontario — The rapid integration of automatic emergency braking (AEB) systems into passenger vehicles has been nothing short of miraculous in its ability to save driver’s lives, however, the IIHS has announced that they are developing testing to shed light on one of the technology’s most significant downfalls.

New research from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has shown that AEB systems are often ineffective in low-light situations, such as on roads without streetlights.

A preliminary nighttime test was conducted with eight vehicles where none performed adequately according to IIHS standards, however, the organization noted best performers were among those that use a combination of cameras and radar.

As a result, the IIHS is in the process of developing a comprehensive nighttime test that is expected to publish initial results later this year.

Recent tests from the organization have shown that vehicles equipped with AEB systems are in crashes 27 percent less frequently and have an injury reduction rate of 30 percent. When the sun goes down however, these systems can do nothing for you.

“This is the first real-world study of pedestrian AEB to cover a broad range of manufacturers, and it proves the technology is eliminating crashes,” said Jessica Cicchino, IIHS v-p of research and the study’s author, in a statement.

“Unfortunately, it also shows these systems are much less effective in the dark, where three-quarters of fatal pedestrian crashes happen.”

The IIHS’s initial nighttime test involved a 2019 Subaru Forester, 2019 Volvo XC40, 2020 Honda CR-V, 2020 Hyundai Venue, 2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer, 2021 Ford Bronco Sport, 2021 Toyota C-HR and 2022 Volkswagen Taos.

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