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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Was this situation too fast for AEB?

Hey Everyone,

To set the story properly: I'm an RN and was traveling between patients homes in my 2018 Kia Niro EX plug-in hybrid when a car unfortunately pulled out in front of me. I can understand how it was an accident as there was a truck turning right that might have blocked his vision of me coming through on the other lane. We were both a little shaken up, but no one was seriously hurt. He admitted fault and his insurance company is taking excellent care of us.

We've had the AEB system activated since we bought the car. We kept it on the standard detection setting. On two occasions when my wife was driving it oddly deployed when it was a little unnecessary. I was in the car with her during one of them and she wasn't even that close or going fast enough to cause concern. Today, I was traveling at 45 mph and even when the vehicle I collided with was nearly in front of the Niro, the AEB didn't give a warning alarm.

The responsibility relies solely on the driver to prevent accidents. The AEB system is in no way, shape, or form dedicated to preventing this as it's described in the manual. However, I believe the awkwardness of when it did deploy on our vehicle, and the lack of deployment in this accident makes me feel like the system might still be a bit too underdeveloped and I'd like to know what your guys opinions on the AEB system in 2018 Niro is. I had a front and rear facing camera installed on Niro. Below is a link to the front facing footage for anyone interested in watching. The timestamp in video is off. I believe when I updated firmware on it months ago it reset the time. The alarm at the end is the airbag deployment alarm by the way.

Be safe out there.

Video Link:
 

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The AEB is designed to detect and help prevent rear-endings more than anything else. It is certainly limited in sensing anything coming from the sides, so this car pulling out would have been sensed far too late, I think. I don't think it is so much a flaw as a limitation.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The AEB is designed to detect and help prevent rear-endings more than anything else. It is certainly limited in sensing anything coming from the sides, so this car pulling out would have been sensed far too late, I think. I don't think it is so much a flaw as a limitation.
I appreciate the feedback. The manual and Kia's website says it uses a combination of the camera and the sensor to detect and stop vehicle for things even as small as pedestrians crossing the street. However, they do add that the sensing ability is limited which is no joke. In this case, the warning alarm didn't even go on. My hang-up is that if the system "might" detect a pedestrian body crossing the street, one might think it would detect a car crossing as well.
 

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I think the difference in speed of a pedestrian crossing and a vehicle crossing may have something to do with it, as well as the expected speeds for roads a pedestrian is likely to cross. It is my (limited) understanding that it is only checking for things directly ahead, and that it would not trigger for a pedestrian to the side of the road, only one directly in front.
Also, the number of limitations to it (will not immediately detect a car that cuts in front of you during a lane change, can be affected by the vehicle not having visible rear lights, etc.) tells me that it's really not good for much more than maybe preventing you from rear-ending someone in traffic or hitting a pedestrian you absolutely should have seen at slow speeds.
 

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I’m speculating but I believe the algorithm would need to account for you changing lanes between vehicles... which if you think about it is much the same as someone changing into your lane... cutting you off. The AEB seems to work best when simply following... it as a previous poster indicated a large speed differential aka pedestrian
 

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My experience has been if you've already been following the car in front of you for some amount of time, then when they slam on their brakes, the radar cruise control will slow the Niro down to a certain point (20mph) or so, then the AEB will kick in and start applying brakes (but not fully).

As others have posted, the radar cruise tends to work well if someone cuts in front of you while on the highway, but it doesn't do as well at lower speeds in the city. On several occasions, someone has made right turns right in front of me on a city street and neither the radar cruise or the AEB took any action. I had to hit the brakes myself. I think it is just a matter of owning the car for a while and getting a feel for its limitations so you know what situations it can handle and which it cannot.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
These have all been very good feedbacks guys and what you're saying makes sense.

I know the sensor is capable of working at great distances. We always used the automated cruise control and it would sense cars at a distance that was three times farther than this car. However, as we're talking about algorithms I am also wondering if the system can get confused into believing both cars were one object for a short period of time.
 

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...Today, I was traveling at 45 mph and even when the vehicle I collided with was nearly in front of the Niro, the AEB didn't give a warning alarm.
Yowza! :eek: Glad everyone's ok, that could have been a nasty one.

Most if not all AEB systems are biased against detecting stationary (or relatively so) objects to the sides of the vehicle. This makes sense as otherwise it would be triggered by parked cars or road signs. While the Niro's manual mentions pedestrian avoidance as a feature it also points out that the system won't detect hazards in all situations. When the other car pulled out in front of you it's velocity relative to your direction of travel was basically zero. Plus, right up until the moment of impact it was to the right of your car and likely outside the field of view of the sensors. In my uneducated opinion this was a near worst case scenario for the AEB system to try to detect. The other car probably looked like a stationary object on the side of the road to the AEB computer until just milliseconds before impact. In fact if you pause the video right before the collision you can see that the front of the other car is not yet to the centerline of the Niro. The forward radar, which is mounted just below the license plate, has some limited angle of view and might not even "see" the other car at this point as a result.
 

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I think it was a combination of the stationary truck obscuring the car’s and the people’s vision and maybe the low speed. How fast were you going? I think I read/heard somewhere that the AEB activates over 30-35 mph. I always wanted to test it by putting a large empty cardboard box in the street and then drive up to it to see if the car would stop on its own, but driving at that speed into a barrier didn’t seem like a wise idea.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I think it was a combination of the stationary truck obscuring the car’s and the people’s vision and maybe the low speed. How fast were you going? I think I read/heard somewhere that the AEB activates over 30-35 mph. I always wanted to test it by putting a large empty cardboard box in the street and then drive up to it to see if the car would stop on its own, but driving at that speed into a barrier didn’t seem like a wise idea.
These have all been excellent feedbacks and I appreciate everyone's inputs. To answer your question, it was 40-45 mph.
 

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I think it was a combination of the stationary truck obscuring the car’s and the people’s vision and maybe the low speed. How fast were you going? I think I read/heard somewhere that the AEB activates over 30-35 mph. I always wanted to test it by putting a large empty cardboard box in the street and then drive up to it to see if the car would stop on its own, but driving at that speed into a barrier didn’t seem like a wise idea.
According to the manual the minimum speed for AEB activation is 6mph (10km/h) so it would have been active in this case.
 

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I think I read/heard somewhere that the AEB activates over 30-35 mph. I always wanted to test it by putting a large empty cardboard box in the street and then drive up to it to see if the car would stop on its own, but driving at that speed into a barrier didn’t seem like a wise idea.
I can't really speak to experience with the AEB, as my EV is equipped with smart cruise control (SCC) and as such has the Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA) and not AEB. While I used to have an HEV, I can't recall experiencing effects of the AEB (not sure either if I had it on it).

The FCA works per owners manual as of 6 mph/10 kmh. The manual states it only works within a certain range of vehicle speeds, without being explicit what the range is. I just found here that this applies also to the AEB on the HEV. So yes, the speed you had while hitting the car maybe too fast.

After I got the car I went to an empty parking lot and used a carton box to test. Nothing. Went to the dealer and explained what I tested and I showed the dash cam video. They said the object was too small and I may have been too slow (was doing at least 30 kmh).

So far I had the FCA emergency breaking the car 2x, this happened both times at an intersection where I got too close (I was already braking) to a stopped car in front of me. SCC was not on, but that is not a perquisite. I was probably already down to 25 kmh.
SCC will also stop the car when the car in front of you stops, but not in an 'emergency' like fashion. Experience this every day and is a great feature driving in a heavy commute traffic.

I wouldn't rely on any of this to work properly when traffic from the side suddenly appears in front of you. Although I noticed that when SCC is active and someone merges in front of you more or or less cutting you off, the car will slow down dramatically leveraging regen to the max and possible also assisted by the brakes. I am not sure that is done by the SCC or the FCA.

Interesting side note: in my area we get discount on the car insurance if the car is equipped with this kind of technology!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Based on people’s replies I think I must be mixing up the activation speed of the AEB and the Lane Keep Assist.
You are but it's ok. I have no clue what lane keep assist speed is cause I rarely used it (didn't like it), but the AEB activates above 5 mph.
 

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Well, that's most likely totaled. When all those air bags go off, along with the structural damage, the insurance companies won't want to mess with it.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I agree. The hood latch was bent sideways. I was able to open it up with a crowbar and the entire engine looks like it moved sideways. The radiator/evaporator is concave and all the coolant leaked out at the scene of accident. The freon never leaked out, but most of the air conditioning components are bent in. It's a real mess.

We're going to miss this car. We absolutely loved it.
 

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I agree. The hood latch was bent sideways. I was able to open it up with a crowbar and the entire engine looks like it moved sideways. The radiator/evaporator is concave and all the coolant leaked out at the scene of accident. The freon never leaked out, but most of the air conditioning components are bent in. It's a real mess.

We're going to miss this car. We absolutely loved it.
I was hit in the rear quarter corner but by a lot slower moving vehicle and I was moving away from him. So it was repairable: US$7200
The repair shop owner, being in this business for 30+ years: “modern cars are designed and build to survive the passengers, not the car. In the old days the idea was to build a car that could be easily repaired after an accident”
 

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