Volvos, Cadillacs and Subarus earned the top marks for the first of a kind crash test of models that are equipped with systems that help drivers to avoid rear end accidents.
The tests rated the active safety systems, which warn drivers of an impending impact, as well as in some models, automatically hitting the brakes.
These systems use radar, lasers and cameras to measure distances from other autos or fixed objects and are considered the first move toward self-driving autos.
To judge the braking systems that are automated, the researchers put each of the different models through five runs at 12 mph and 25 mph at the Ruckersville, Virginia Vehicle Research Center.
One engineer drove the vehicle toward a foam and vinyl metal framed target that was designed to simulate the tail of a car. The test vehicle was equipped with sensors that monitored speed, lane position, braking, time of collision and other data.
The results of the test showed that most of the manufacturers still need to work on perfecting their systems.
Researchers for example found that braking on the Infiniti JX SUV was not enough to stop it at 12 or 25 mph. The Toyota Prius scored so bad it did not qualify for a crash prevention rating.
However, the EyeSight technology on the Subaru prevented Subaru’s Outback and Legacy from hitting the target vehicle for both tests at 12 and 25 mph.
The crash preparation system on Cadillac helped its models avoid hitting the target for the 12 mph test. Both the Cadillacs and Subarus were given superior test ratings.
Other vehicles receiving a superior rating were Volvo and Mercedes Benz.