How Does Automatic Braking Work?

In the past, cars with automatic transmission were considered futuristic. Decades later, the newest in automobile technology is offering automatic braking and if you don’t know how this could actually work, here’s the low down on these DIY cars.

A car, breaking to avoid a collision, closing rapidly in on the car in front of him.

Can This Technology Be Trusted?

The automatic braking system might be a fairly new option in the automobile industry but the technology that it uses isn’t so new. GPS sensors are what drives automatic braking. The automatic braking system can detect fixed objects such as stop signs and utilize the braking system in time to stop with safety. When an object is detected, an emergency braking system can either alert the driver with a warning or take action when a collision is imminent. No manual braking or steering is necessary to maintain control of the vehicle.

Is Automatic Braking The Way Of The Future?

Emergency braking systems can go a long way in bridging the gap that seems to happening between our driving skills and our attention spans. With more and more devices to distract us from the task at hand, automatic braking systems can literally be a life saver and more and more automobile companies are making them an option. Cars with automatic braking systems have been around for years but are now becoming more popular in North America.

So how can an emergency braking system help with your commute? Generally, automatic braking comes as part of a safety package that might include, backup sensors and cameras.

Apparently, with ABS and sensors, getting a car to brake itself is easy. Making sure it only brakes when it’s supposed to is key. In many applications, several cameras are used as eyes the calculate speed and distance, similar to the human eye. These cameras sit atop the windshield and scan every 0.1 seconds, always looking for contrasts in colour or texture in the environment. In addition to this, the software used is designed to recognize several objects and images like numbers, pedestrians, and bicycles.

With some automobile manufacturers, automatic braking is achieved with a laser. The laser pings off objects in front of the car and measures distance and speed. This laser works best at short differences and for this reason, is usually paired with a camera for longer distances and greater versatility in the automatic braking system.

How Does It Sense Danger Before It Happens?

Sensing an immediate danger and impending collision is one thing, doing something about it is completely another. If your car has an automatic braking system it not only senses when there is trouble, it also knows when you aren’t doing anything about it. Your car’s better judgment will kick in when it realizes you are not steering or braking and are unaware of the danger. In many incidents, it’s your car’s job to use the automatic braking system to minimize speed and therefore minimize impact and reduce injury and damage. When a car is traveling less than 30 kilometres an hour, a collision can be avoided altogether with the capabilities of an automatic braking system.

An automatic braking system will send the driver a warning and then apply brakes.  Up to 1 g of force will be applied in lieu of driver direction. Keep in mind that automatic braking systems are not intended to save the day if you’re a chronic speeder. This safety option works best in heavy traffic when the speed differential between you and the car in front of your is less than 30 kilometres away.

Before the days of automatic braking systems, automobile companies offered vibrating seats to alert the driver of danger, beeps, and whistles to initiate driver braking. Automatic braking systems have taken it one step further and strengthened driving safety in North America.

Learn more about the latest in the automotive industry by reading up on some of our other Blogs.