The Suzuki Swift – the Maruti Swift for the developed markets – is sold in Europe. European safety regulations mandate that the car be equipped with Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB), which will automatically stop a car if it senses that the driver has not applied the brakes in time. This crucial safety feature, which is now standard on all cars sold in Europe, will eventually come to India in the years to come. Here is a video that shows how the Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) feature works in real time.
As the video indicates, the autonomous emergency braking feature is shown repeatedly slowing down and stopping the Swift as and when it detects the car approaching an obstacle too fast. In real life, AEB can work not only when the driver fails to recognize an obstacle and brake in time but also when there is a situation when the driver has fallen asleep or is incapacitated and unable to brake due to some reason.
The Suzuki Swift that is sold in Europe has scored poorly in the NCAP rating despite the presence of such technologies. The Suzuki Swift only managed to score three stars in the Euro NCAP crash test, which is a poor rating. The reason for the 3 star rating is whiplash injuries to the passenger dummies seated in the rear seat, and also lack of adequate child safety protection.
How does AEB work?
A radar continuously scans the road ahead. If it detects that the car is moving too fast towards an object in front of it, and if the driver does not take corrective action, the AEB kicks in and applies brakes as hard as possible in the given situation to ensure the car does not rear end another car ahead or hit a stationary object. Radar based safety technologies such as AEB and adaptive cruise control form the basis of self drive cars, which are likely to become mainstream in the coming decade.
Why’s it not in India yet?
AEB works through radar technology, which has not yet been approved for use in cars in India by the government here. Radar based technologies are reserved for use strictly by the armed forces, and this is a reason why autonomous emergency braking, and for that matter, adaptive cruise control is yet to be made available on many high end cars sold in India. For instance, Volvo sells all its cars with autonomous emergency braking in Europe but the company deactivates this feature for India due to government restrictions. As self driving cars get common place, the Indian government will have no option but to allow radar based safety technologies to be used for civilian cars.