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Autonomous Emergency Braking: Independent test results

By Toby Hagon, 09 Feb 2017 Features

Autonomous Emergency Braking: Independent test results

Our first independent AEB test program reveals hits and misses from the 2017 COTY field.

Our first independent AEB test program reveals hits and misses from the 2017 COTY field.

Mazda’s CX-9 was one of the standouts in Wheels’ inaugural autonomous emergency brake (AEB) testing for COTY 2017.

Priced from $42,390, the seven-seat SUV shone in the most comprehensive independent test of its type in Australia of what is an increasingly relevant safety feature.

As first reported last month, the tests were conducted in conjunction with Insurance Australia Group’s (IAG) research department, and involved driving towards the two custom target vehicles at speeds of 10, 20 and 25km/h.

The AEB testing was introduced to COTY in 2017 as an evolution of Wheels’ long history in independently verifying active safety systems, from ABS to ESC.

Autonomous -emergency -braking -test -on -roadThe CX-9 achieved a perfect score against the two target vehicles – a mid-sized sedan and a high-riding 4x4 ute – and was the only car of the 28-strong COTY field with auto braking in reverse, potentially helping it avoid collisions with pedestrians and objects when backing up.

As one of the most affordable vehicles on the market with AEB standard on all models, the CX-9 was praised by judges for raising safety standards in the large SUV category that’s popular with families.

The CX-9 wasn’t alone in performing well in the ground-breaking AEB tests, which featured a ute target vehicle for the first time anywhere in the world.

Seven manufacturers provided models that successfully aced all six disciplines. These were Mercedes-Benz (with the C-Class Coupe, GLC and E-Class), Audi, Holden, Infiniti, Skoda, Subaru and Volvo.

Autonomous -emergency -braking -test -in -MiniDespite the increased provision of AEB on many mainstream vehicles, some of the most advanced COTY contenders were not even fitted with the system (see list below table, right.)

In a year when Toyota’s Hilux topped the sales charts – the first time a ute has achieved the feat – Wheels’ exclusive testing revealed there were potential concerns with some systems reacting to the unique rear-end design of pick-up trucks, which are similar to SUVs.

AEB systems from BMW, Jaguar and Volkswagen successfully detected the Camry target vehicle, but did not consistently detect the Navara ute (see results panel right.)

Wheels Car of the Year AEB test results


Mid-sized sedan target vehicle

Ute target vehicle

Car 10km/h 20km/h 25km/h  10km/h  20km/h 25km/h 
Audi A4/Allroad  ✔  ✔  ✔  ✔  ✔  ✔
BMW M2  ✔  ✔  ✔  ✗  Not tested  Not tested
Holden Astra  ✔  ✔  ✔  ✔  ✔  ✔
Infiniti Q30/QX30  ✔  ✔  ✔  ✔  ✔  ✔
Jaguar XF  ✔  ✔  ✔  ✗  Not tested  Not tested
Jaguar F-Pace  ✔  ✔  ✔  ✔  ✗  Not tested
Mazda CX-9  ✔  ✔  ✔  ✔  ✔  ✔

C-Class Coupe

 ✔  ✔  ✔  ✔  ✔  ✔

Mercedes-Benz GLC

 ✔  ✔  ✔  ✔  ✔  ✔
Mercedes-Benz E-Class  ✔  ✔  ✔  ✔  ✔  ✔
Mini Clubman  ✔  ✗  Not tested  ✗  Not tested  Not tested
Skoda Superb  ✔  ✔  ✔  ✔  ✔  ✔
Subaru Impreza  ✔  ✔  ✔  ✔  ✔  ✔


 ✔  ✔  ✔  ✗  Not tested  Not tested
Volvo S90  ✔  ✔  ✔  ✔  ✔  ✔