It's a different kind of dangerous.
Just a few days ago we reported on the American Automobile Association's testing of pedestrian detection technology and its inability to self-brake to avoid collisions. Automated emergency braking has the potential to be the technology that saves the most lives on the road by making up for the driver's inattention but, judging by the tests conducted, the technology has a way to go before it can be relied upon.
As you can imagine, a car suddenly slamming its brakes in traffic can create potentially dangerous situations for both the occupants of the car and those around them. Over 800 drivers of 2017 and 2018 model year Rogues have filed complaints with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) regarding false positives from the Nissan crossover's automatic emergency braking system.
"At one time on the highway, it almost caused an accident due to sudden and abrupt, unneeded braking, slowing the car unexpectedly, nearly causing cars behind me to run into me," says one complaint, "This vehicle behavior has occurred multiple times."
It's not just freeways where Nissan Rogue drivers are having issues. More understandably, ramps and reflections from metal structures, bridges, railroad tracks, and parking garages are also reported as triggering the systems.
The long-term fix will likely boil down to calibration of systems and redundancy. Having more than one sensor type working together, such as radar and camera, can help differentiate between perceived and actual threats. However, that starts to get more expensive as companies seek to include driver-assist safety features as standard.
So far, fourteen crashes and five injuries have been attributed to the braking malfunctions but, at the same time, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has reported that rates of rear-end crashes have dropped by 50 percent due to automatic emergency braking.