The new 2011 BMW 530d has easily passed its first crash test evaluation while using active emergency brake intervention. Like a number of other cars to come to market recently, the 5 Series is available with a radar-based active cruise control system that can use the brake system to manage vehicle speed and keep the car a safe distance from the vehicle in front. Recently these systems have been enhanced with emergency brake intervention that allows full braking force to be applied if crash is imminent – even when the cruise control is not being used.
However, current crash test procedures don’t allow for the activation of such systems. For example, in the European 40 mile per hour frontal offset test, the vehicle is expected to crash at 40 mph. In the real world, active braking would reduce the speed of the impact, likely reducing severity as well. However, applying full brakes also causes the nose to pitch down and the cars occupants to shift position can alter the test’s results.
As more cars get these types of systems, they need to be accounted for in crash testing, and BMW is working with German testing agency DEKRA to develop new procedures. Check out the official press release after the jump.