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22 names for a similar security function: How automobile manufacturers confuse us


I spent an hour or so the opposite day trying up lively and preventative security methods provided by varied automobile manufacturers and realised one thing – it’s ridiculously complicated for automobile patrons to know what options they’re really getting.

Be aware: This op-ed ran in October 2020, however given the problem at hand has acquired some focus not too long ago, we thought it made sense to replace among the phrases and put it again on the house web page.

A touchscreen diameter is self-explanatory. As are leather-based seats, dual-zone local weather management, or MacPherson struts.

However from a shortlist of main manufacturers learn on the time of writing, there have been no fewer than 22 totally different examples of company nomenclature for autonomous emergency braking (AEB) – all of which use sensors to scan forward, warn the motive force of an impending collision, and brake.

Whereas AEB is the {industry} shorthand time period for this widespread function, model particular phrases embrace: Pre-Collision Security System (PCS), Good Brake Assist (SBS), Ahead Collision-Avoidance Help (FCA), Ahead Collision Mitigation (FCM), and Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS).

And that’s not the total spreadsheet of names by a (very) lengthy shot.

We come swiftly to the plain questions:

How is a punter supposed to maintain up with this, and make certain of what performance they’re getting? How can mother and father know they’re shopping for the SUV with the type of security capabilities they want? How do fleet patrons rapidly be sure that their firm’s wants are catered for?

We reside in a world now the place fewer individuals make investments hours in a showroom speaking exhaustively in regards to the automobile they need. On-line retail is barely going to develop, and the necessity for readability of data will solely improve.

Manufacturers don’t name airbags ‘Inflatable Sprint Cushions’ or ‘Explosive Impression Pillows’. They don’t name ABS brakes ‘Skid Stoppers’ and ‘Slip-Lowering Brake Modules’, they usually don’t name seatbelts ‘Human Projectile Minimisers’. Widespread parlance creates familiarity, the important thing to acceptance.

If a model has an AEB system, name it simply that. If it’s solely lively at low speeds like some are then name it Metropolis AEB. If it really works at larger speeds name it Fixed AEB. If it senses pedestrians and cycles, name it AEB with Pedestrian and Bike owner Detection. A mouthful? Granted. However you get some readability in return.

And that’s simply the tip of the iceberg, proper? What number of totally different names have you ever seen for lane-keeping help, lively cruise management, and blind-spot monitoring? All of them do the identical issues, the identical methods, and infrequently use sensors and modules sourced from the identical suppliers. But manufacturers give them their very own names.

I’m not solely blaming automobile producers right here. Their advertising groups are tasked with giving know-how catchy titles that encourage customers and make them look a lower above their rivals. There’s equally been a case of regulation failing to maintain up with advancing applied sciences.

In that spirit I counsel we should develop some agreed-upon industry-wide naming requirements that keep abreast of evolving applied sciences and concisely clarify precisely what methods automobiles have, or don’t. No extra ambiguity.

Manufacturers have the appropriate to their buzzwords, however there must also be a requirement to state precisely what every system can and can’t do. And the simplest shorthand for that’s to lock in acquainted naming conventions. ANCAP does a commendable job testing these methods, and this proposal is available in the identical spirit.

As a automobile purchaser, do you wrestle to maintain up with all of the totally different names for primary security methods that do the identical factor regardless of sounding fairly totally different to one another? Are you assured your accomplice or guardian or good friend who’s not a complete automobile nut is able to discerning reality from fiction on this panorama?

I’m not. And it’s an issue that should be solved.

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