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Jeep escapes a recall

by David Zatz on

Last year, the U.S. began investigating the Jeep Grand Cherokee for periodically hitting the brakes without provocation. In the end, they concluded that, since the unexpected braking only dropped the speed by under 3 mph, it was not dangerous.

Jeep-Grand-Cherokee-2015-White-Web

The agency also found that systems used by other companies were no better, and in fact could be worse.  Automatic braking is now widely available, and is set to become standard on all cars and trucks by 2024.  FCA uses two varieties, an older one which slows the vehicle by around 30%, and a newer one that brings it to a full stop when needed. Jeep uses both cameras and radar, together; a Tesla “AutoPilot” system that failed in action used just cameras.

The Jeep investigation was initially prompted by nine complaints. As the system was designed, a very quick application of the brakes is a tactile alert to the driver, if no action is taken after visual and audible alerts.

The agency also determined that there was no one particular cause for “seeing a hazard that isn’t there,” but that there could be many factors involved in the car’s system braking without cause.

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