We Crash Four Cars Repeatedly to Test the Latest Automatic Braking Safety Systems

Along those lines, carmakers are also rightfully self-conscious of how often an AEB system acts on a false positive, with the computer applying the brakes in the absence of a threat. In 2015, NHTSA opened a yearlong investigation into 95,000 Jeep Grand Cherokees following reports that the SUVs were braking for no reason. The probe turned up 176 complaints of inexplicable emergency braking, but the agency found no defects and ultimately decided not to issue a recall. For the moment, these annoyances simply have to be tolerated by automakers and their customers. “From a technological perspective, if you’d like to reduce the rate of false positives, the rate of false negatives [crashes in which AEB does not activate] has to go up, and vice versa,” says Raj Rajkumar, co-director of the General Motors-Carnegie Mellon Autonomous Driving Collaborative Research Lab.