The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is out with new crash test results and more models than ever are driving off with top safety scores. In this case more than 12 new models earned a Superior IIHS rating, 14 out of 19 models tested to be exact. One thing they all had in common is that they all had frontal crash autobrake prevention technology.
The IIHS says for the first time, half of all new vehicles have some kind of front crash prevention system available. The automatic braking aspect is still fairly new part of those systems, but it is growing fast. The systems use things like cameras, radars, and lasers that sense when the front of the vehicle is getting too close to something and then trigger the braking response.
The IIHS started testing autobrake tech in 2013 and since then the availability of the technology has more than doubled with 27 percent of vehicles in the Institute’s database now offering automatic braking systems. Automakers know it will earn them a higher ranking.
“Most motorists won’t be riding in driverless cars anytime soon. In the shorter term, automatic braking is an accessible technology that’s within reach for many drivers. We’ve seen an uptick in the number of luxury and mainstream models with available autobrake. That’s a welcome sign for highway safety and helps pave the way for the eventual deployment of fully autonomous vehicles,” says David Zuby, the Institute’s executive vice president and chief research officer.
In the most recent testing, the models that earned the top safety rating are the 2016 Acura ILX, MDX, RDX, and RLX; 2016 BMW X3; 2015 Chrysler 300 and its sister, the 2015 Dodge Charger; 2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class, CLA, and E-Class; and the 2016 Mazda Mazda6 and CX-5.
Models that didn’t fair as well and only received the Advanced safety rating are the BMW X3 with the Collision Warning and City Braking Function, instead of the Collision Warning with Braking Function of the above model; and the 2016 Volkswagen Golf, Golf SportWagen, Jetta, and Touareg. The Jetta received the lowest score of all the models tested.
There’s also been an increase in the availability of frontal collision warning systems that do not use autobrake, but simply offer a warning to drivers, with half of all the vehicles now offering this technology.
Photo Credit: Acura