Self-driving cars may still be a few years from becoming a reality; however, more and more modern vehicles are hitting the road with autonomous capabilities on board.

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The latest generation of the Toyota Prius is one such example, as it comes with automatic braking technology that independent tests carried out by Euro NCAP have recognised for the first time.  This could  come in handy when parking your car in the Bespoke Oak Carport you just purchased from sites including To check out what else they have to offer head on over to their website.

Safety first

Plenty of car buyers check the Euro NCAP score that a vehicle has achieved before committing to a purchase; however, the testing of autonomous emergency braking (AEB) systems has only just been introduced, with the Prius the first model to be put through its paces.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Prius was awarded a full five stars thanks to the fact that the base model comes with the Toyota Safety Sense system as standard.

In essence, this system lets the car brake automatically if it detects that a pedestrian or other obstacle is in its path. Videos of the testing process have been released by Euro NCAP, demonstrating the use of dummies to replicate real world situations in which pedestrians and cars might come into contact with one another.

The arrival of AEB both on board the Prius and as part of the Euro NCAP testing process is relevant, since it signals the increasing availability of this technology on mainstream cars

Two-tier approach

In addition to testing AEB features, Euro NCAP has introduced a new way of awarding safety scores to car ranges. It will offer one score for entry-level models and another for higher-end entries in the same family of vehicles, allowing buyers and manufacturers alike to get a better deal.

The two-tier approach has just been applied for he first time to the new Suzuki Baleno range, with the standard model earning three stars and its AEB-equipped counterpart, which is fitted with Suzuki’s Radar Brake Support, earning four. This is interesting, since it suggests that having autonomous braking capabilities alone is not enough to earn an automatic perfect score.

Autonomous braking is a step towards a time when self-driving cars can eliminate accidents altogether. With testing of such systems now taking place, wider adoption seems likely to occur amongst major manufacturers.

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