What is AEB in Cars?

Looking to find out more about your car’s safety features like AEB? Learn all about it right here with Savvy.
Published on November 23rd, 2020
  Written by 
Thomas Perrotta
Thomas Perrotta is the managing editor of Savvy. Throughout his time at the company, Thomas has specialised in personal finance, namely car, personal and small loans, although he has also written on topics ranging from mortgages to business loans to banking and more. Thomas graduated from the University of Adelaide with a Bachelor of Media, majoring in journalism, and has previously had his work published in The Advertiser.
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Bill Tsouvalas


Bill Tsouvalas
Bill Tsouvalas is the managing director and a key company spokesperson at Savvy. As a personal finance expert, he often shares his insights on a range of topics, being featured on leading news outlets including News Corp publications such as the Daily Telegraph and Herald Sun, Fairfax Media publications such as the Australian Financial Review, the Seven Network and more. Bill has over 15 years of experience working in the finance industry and founded Savvy in 2010 with a vision to provide affordable and accessible finance options to all Australians. He has built Savvy from a small asset finance brokerage into a financial comparison website which now attracts close to 2 million Aussies per year and was included in the BRW’s Fast 100 in 2015 as one of the fastest-growing companies in the country. He’s passionate about helping Australians make financially savvy decisions and reviews content across the brand to ensure its accuracy. You can follow Bill on LinkedIn.
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Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) is a growing technological presence in modern cars. This system plays a crucial role in enhancing road safety by assisting the driver in potential collision scenarios. If you're interested in learning more about AEB and its functionalities, you can learn all about it and how it works with Savvy today to help you determine whether you need it for your next car.

What is AEB in cars?

AEB stands for Autonomous Emergency Braking and is becoming an increasingly common safety feature in modern cars. This technology can automatically apply the brakes to help avoid a collision or lessen its impact. Imagine it as an extra set of eyes on the road, helping you react faster in potentially dangerous situations.

This technology is designed to be a helpful assistant, not a replacement for safe driving practices. It's crucial to always maintain a safe following distance and stay alert behind the wheel. However, AEB can provide valuable assistance in situations where a driver might not react quickly enough, potentially preventing accidents or mitigating their severity.

AEB is credited with making a significant difference to on-road safety, with the Transport Accident Commission’s howsafeisyourcar? site stating that it has reduced rear end crashes causing serious injury or death by an estimated 27%. Additionally, ANCAP reported the following:

“AEB has been shown to reduce police-reported crashes by 55%, rear-end crashes by 40% and vehicle occupant trauma by 28%.”

Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP), 2021

How does AEB work in my vehicle?

AEB works differently depending on the vehicle and manufacturer, so it’s not always the same across the board. However, it’s likely to follow this general breakdown:

  1. Sensors: most AEB systems utilise a combination of sensors like radar and cameras to continuously monitor the road ahead for potential obstacles, such as the vehicle in front of you.
  2. Collision risk assessment: the AEB system analyses the data received from the sensors to assess the risk of a collision. This considers factors like the distance to the vehicle ahead, your speed and the relative speed difference.
  3. Automatic braking: if the system detects a high likelihood of a collision and the driver doesn't react in time, the AEB system can automatically apply the brakes to slow down the vehicle or bring it to a complete stop, potentially avoiding the accident or reducing its severity.

Some AEB systems are also equipped with specific features, such as pedestrian or cyclist protection, as well as being tailored to both city and highway or country driving (with the latter focusing on detecting vehicles from further away. It’s important to understand how it works in your car before you buy it.

Is AEB available on all cars?

AEB is mandated in Australia on all newly introduced vehicles, with all vehicles on sale around the country required to have this feature included from March 2025. This applies to all passenger vehicles, as well as SUVs and certain utes and vans.

However, it won’t always have the same name, so below is a list of what AEB is referred to as by different manufacturers in Australia (as of March 2024):

  • Toyota: Pre-Collision Brake (PB) system, as part of Pre-Collision Safety (PCS) system
  • Ford: Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB), as part of Pre-Collision Assist
  • Mazda: Smart City Brake Support (SCBS) and Smart Brake Support (SBS)
  • Hyundai: Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA)
  • Kia: Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA)
  • Mitsubishi: Forward Collision Mitigation (FCM) system
  • MG: Active Emergency Braking (AEB)
  • Tesla: Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB), as part of Collision Avoidance Assist

What other car safety features can help me avoid collisions?

There are many car safety features today that can help you avoid collisions. These include the following:

  • Forward Collision Warning (FCW): this acts as an alert system, often using visual or audio cues, to warn you of a potential collision with the vehicle in front of you. While AEB takes action, FCW provides a warning to allow you to react and avoid the collision yourself.
  • Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM): this system uses sensors to detect vehicles in your blind spot, areas not easily visible in your mirrors. BSM can provide a visual or audible warning when a vehicle enters your blind spot, helping you avoid lane changes that could result in a collision.
  • Lane Departure Warning (LDW): this system uses cameras to detect lane markings on the road. If you unintentionally veer out of your lane without signalling, LDW can provide a visual or audible warning, prompting you to correct your course.
  • Lane Keeping Assist (LKA): this system builds upon LDW by gently applying steering torque to help you stay within your lane if it detects you drifting unintentionally.
  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA): this system uses sensors to detect vehicles approaching from the sides when you're reversing out of a parking spot. RCTA can provide a visual or audible warning to help you avoid collisions with oncoming traffic.
  • Electronic Stability Control (ESC): this system helps maintain vehicle stability during sharp turns or sudden manoeuvres by applying brakes to individual wheels and reducing engine power. ESC can be crucial in avoiding skids or loss of control situations.

Remember, these features are designed to assist you, not replace your own safe driving practices. It's important to stay alert, maintain awareness of your surroundings, and avoid distractions while driving. Before choosing which car to buy, it’s essential to know how safe it is so you can be clear on what technologies are in place to help protect you from crashes on the road, which is especially crucial if you have children.

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