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February 4, 2022

Toyota Safety Sense Tops New Nighttime Pedestrian Safety Test

With the U.S.-based Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) announcing plans to launch a new test that rates the effectiveness of pedestrian AEB (autonomous emergency braking) at nighttime, the agency has released the results of a pilot test. What they found is that today’s pedestrian AEB systems don’t work as well in the dark as they do in daylight.

For the research tests, eight compact SUVs made by eight different manufacturers were put through the standard vehicle-to-pedestrian evaluation in full darkness on the covered track at the IIHS Vehicle Research Center. Each vehicle was tested twice—first with their high-beam headlights on and then their low beams.

The test vehicles were 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.

The sample included vehicles whose AEB systems use a single camera, a dual camera, a single camera and radar, and radar only. It also included vehicles that earn superior, advanced, and basic ratings in the Institute’s daylight vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention evaluation, as well as vehicles equipped with good, acceptable, and poor headlights.

Excluding the radar-only Taos, performance generally declined enough in the dark to knock vehicles from superior to advanced using their high beams, and from superior to basic using their low beams, using the scoring system developed for the daytime ratings. But the benefits of radar varied in this small sample of vehicles.

As expected, the Taos achieved essentially the same results in the dark, since radar does not depend on light. However, it was also the worst performer in the daytime test. The best performers in the nighttime tests—the C-HR and Bronco Sport—both use a combination of camera and radar. The Forester and Trailblazer, the only vehicles with camera-only systems and no radar, achieved similar nighttime results to three other vehicles with camera-and-radar systems—the CR-V, XC40, and Venue.

The research tests did not show a clear association between good headlights and stellar nighttime scores, either. On average, vehicles with good and acceptable headlights showed similar declines in performance in the dark, compared with their daytime results. The two worst performers in the low-beam test, the CR-V and XC40, both had good-rated headlights. And the C-HR, which was tested with both good and poor headlights, outperformed all the others using its low beams, even when equipped with poor headlights.

Average Speed Reductions in Pedestrian AEB Tests
  • Chevrolet Trailblazer – 86 percent (day), 80 percent (night, high beam), 44 percent (night, low beam)
  • Ford Bronco Sport – 97 percent (day), 80 percent (night, high beam), 60 percent (night, low beam)
  • Honda CR-V – 89 percent (day), 42 percent (night, high beam), 20 percent (night, low beam)
  • Hyundai Venue – 99 percent (day), 73 percent (night, high beam), 47 percent (night, low beam)
  • Subaru Forester – 86 percent (day), 68 percent (night, high beam), 44 percent (night, low beam)
  • Toyota C-HR w/ good headlights – 98 percent (day), 91 percent (night, high beam), 83 percent (night, low beam)
  • Toyota C-HR w/ poor headlights – 98 percent (day), 92 percent (night, high beam), 73 percent (night, low beam)
  • Volkswagen Taos – 49 percent (day), 47 percent (night, high beam), 44 percent (night, low beam)
  • Volvo XC40 – 97 percent (day), 80 percent (night, high beam), 12 percent (night, low beam)

1 comment:

  1. I always thought Subaru's Eyesight is the best among the AEB systems. I was wrong.


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