While most new cars today, especially in the luxury segment, come with some sort of forward facing automated braking systems in order to avoid a collision, some new cars also come with a similar system fitted to the rear. The system essentially detects if the car is about to reverse into an obstacle - like a pole or another car, etc. in order to apply the brakes and stop the vehicle before it causes any damage. This system is particularly useful when cars are backing out of a lane or a drive way (typical in suburban homes internationally) and the driver cannot see due to the likelihood of a fence or other visual obstacles. And now, to add another level in making cars safer by awarding them a safety score, the IIHS or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in the United States has started testing these systems and awarding a score.
Also Read: Global NCAP Announces Awards For India
The testing has currently been done on six popular models (in the United States) - the BMW 5 Series, Cadillac XT5, Jeep Cherokee, Subaru Outback and the Toyota Prius. Of the six vehicles, the Cadillac and the Subaru has received the highest 'superior' rating while the others have received an 'advance' rating. There will also be a 'basic' rating that will be given to cars with only parking sensors and rear cross-traffic alert.
To get the 'superior' score, cars must stop altogether to completely avoid a rear collision or reduce their speeds to under 1 mph, which is about 1.6 kmph. Vehicles that do not completely stop at every test (or fail to reduce the speed under 1.6 kmph) will get the slightly lower 'advance' rating. The IIHS also rated how much damage each car sustained and the corresponding costs involved.