Of the 3 cars tested in this test, a slow dummy vehicle traveling in the same direction as the test vehicle was detected. In each test (five runs per vehicle), the test vehicle applied the brakes and matched the speed of the dummy to avoid a crash. Likewise, all test vehicles were able to detect simulated cyclists traveling in the same direction and slowed down to prevent a crash.
When the dummy vehicle was placed in the same lane to simulate a frontal crash caused by a damaged or distracted driver, the test vehicle hit it every time. The speed of the test vehicle and the simulated oncoming vehicle was 25 mph and 15 mph, respectively — lower than what might happen in the real world.
Instead of trying to hit the brakes, Hyundai and Subaru slam into the target without slowing down. Tesla hit the brakes in every test, but still managed to hit the dummy vehicle at an average speed of 2.3 mph.
What’s more, the Subaru Forester failed to detect a simulated cyclist crossing the road in front of it. In this test, both Tesla and Hyundai were able to brake to avoid a crash. Greg Brannon, director of AAA’s automotive engineering division, said their testing showed erratic performance was the norm, not the exception.
AAA’s advice to automakers is simple: listen to consumers and improve currently available systems before trying to focus on the future. “If consumers don’t believe in the present, you can’t sell them the future,” Brannon added.