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Research & Data

Active Braking Technologies

Crash Avoidance technology has continued to progress, and NHTSA is aggressively pursuing research related to technologies that, in addition to warning drivers of a collision threat, can take active control of the vehicle to help mitigate or avoid the crash (if warnings are not heeded by the driver, or the driver’s reaction is insufficient to avoid the crash). In particular, NHTSA is focusing its efforts on dynamic brake system (DBS) and collision imminent braking (CIB) technologies being offered by light vehicle OEMs. Such systems employ radar, camera, lidar and other sensor technologies to detect and track vehicles, pedestrians or objects in the forward path.

DBS technology serves to increase braking effort initiated by the driver during collision-imminent situations if the driver’s response is determined (by the system) to be insufficient to avoid the collision. CIB systems will operate to automatically energize the brakes in crash imminent situation if the driver does not respond at all to the warnings. NHTSA is currently evaluating the performance of such systems in a variety of crash scenarios and under controlled test conditions. We are also developing objective test procedures and associated test equipment including a strike-able “surrogate” target vehicle to simulate an actual in-path lead vehicle.

In July 2012, the agency published a Request for Comments seeking feed­back on our observations about DBS and CIB technologies, as well as consideration of test protocols that could be used to test their effectiveness. NHTSA is in the process of evaluating industry and public feedback while advancing our research related to safety benefits analysis, test procedures, and overall reliability and operation of automatic braking systems.