Ranking of "Collision-Free" Cars

Subaru and Volvo take top honors

Aug 12, 2014
Collision-Free Car Test Team, Nikkei Automotive Technology

Nikkei Automotive Technology magazine evaluated low- and mid-speed recognition (vehicle and pedestrian) and braking functions in automobiles from nine manufacturers equipped with autonomous braking systems. This was the first comparative evaluation in Japan of autonomous braking for pedestrians. Overall, models from Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. of Japan (Subaru) and Volvo came out on top, with AAA ratings. We analyzed the data to see just what different manufacturers do differently, and probed their design philosophies.

Collision avoidance performance at low and medium speeds (mainly 20 km/h to 50 km/h) was evaluated, for both stationary vehicles and pedestrians. As the test included pedestrians, different vehicles showed widely different recognition capability especially for human figures. Infrared laser and millimeter-wave radar systems, however, were not capable of sensing pedestrians, resulting in lower scores.

EyeSight (Ver. 2) from Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. (FHI, the automaker of Subaru) of Japan scored the highest, followed by the City Safety system from Volvo; both earned AAA ranks.

Nikkei Automotive Technology magazine tested autonomous braking functions on vehicles from nine manufacturers, on the Saitama Institute of Automotive Technology test course at the end of March 2014. Simulated targets were erected at the end of a straight stretch of paved road, for both parked vehicles and pedestrians, and the test vehicles driven toward the targets at a constant speed (see page 14 for outlines of test and scoring criteria). In principle, four speeds were used: 20 km/h, 30 km/h, 40 km/h, and 50 km/h, but other speeds were used as required for specific test vehicle cases. The maximum speed at which the collision was avoided was scored (under about 20 km/h, 30 km/h, 40 km/h, or 50 km/h), independently for vehicle and pedestrian targets, and the total used to produce one of three levels of performance.