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I had a troubling experience with my new MDX recently. I was at a signal taking a left turn and the car in front of me was taking a U-turn. Somehow the MDX put the automatic brakes on and my car suddenly stopped. There was plenty of distance between my car and the other car and no possibility of collision.

My question is: Is it safe to keep the automatic braking system on? I think it is on by default.

I found this report on NHTSA where there was a collision and injuries due to this feature. (sorry I cannot post URLs yet)
www dot nhtsa dot gov/vehicle/2018/ACURA/MDX/SUV/AWD

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PURCHASED ACURA MDX IN JANUARY OF 2018 SO IT IS NOW 3 MONTHS. I BELIEVE THERE IS SOMETHING SIGNIFICANTLY WRONG WITH ITS AUTOMATIC BRAKING SYSTEM. I WAS DRIVING DOWN A HILL ON A RESIDENTAL, FAST PACED ROAD, WITH A GUARDRAIL TO MY RIGHT SIDE AND ANOTHER CAR PASSING ME ON THE LEFT SIDE. WE BOTH WE TRAVELING AT THE SPEED LIMIT OF 40 MILES PER HOUR WHEN ALL OF A SUDDEN MY CAR'S BRAKES WENT ON, CAUSING ME TO SWERVE INTO THE GUARDRAIL. FROM THERE, I WAS THROWN INTO ONCOMING TRAFFIC CAUSING A COLLISON. I BELIEVE THE SYSTEM BECAME CONFUSED AND STEPPED ON THE BRAKES WHEN IT DETECTED THE OTHER VEHICLE ACCELERATING TOWARDS ME.
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There are three levels of the CMBS, iirc.

Level 1 is a "BRAKE" display flashes on the instrument cluster and the HUD flashes on the windshield.

Level 2 adds audible indication (beeping).

Level 3 applies the brakes.

I've experienced level 1 and 2 semi-frequently. Most of the time I think the warnings are good. Every now and then it'll trigger if I'm going around a tight bend and a car is coming towards me... But I think this is necessary, as the system wants to prevent a collision, and the only way to do that is preemptively -- with enough notice to correct the situation.

I've never had Level 3 apply.

The complaint you reference (http://www.nhtsa.gov/vehicle/2018/ACURA/MDX/SUV/AWD) is only a complaint... It is not an investigation. It's a one-sided statement that may or may not be true. I'm inclined to find the statement suspect, at a minimum... Even if the CMBS applied the brakes, how does that cause the driver to loose control and swerve into the guardrail? I think the driver may be trying to blame the vehicle for their mistake.

As for your specific occurrence, I wasn't there, so it's hard for me to know what happened. You can have the dealer check the system, if you're concerned. Otherwise, consider that the system has to act preemptively in order to be effective. Maybe you're an exceptionally safe driver. Maybe your driving style doesn't leave much room for the system to use Level 1/2 before it feels it has no choice but Level 3.

Assuming your system is functioning properly, I'd leave the system on and adjust my driving habits. It's trying to prevent collisions. That's a good thing.
 

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I've said it here before, I do not want a car that can apply the brakes for me.....I could see a disaster in the making if applied at the wrong time. I realize that someday, that may be all we can get, due to the dumbing down of drivers....but I am holding out hope for a car that I control.
 

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I do not have CMBS on my 2015 MDX, only the brake collision warning. Based on my experience with it lately I would not want the full CMBS. My system is set to the normal level of warning, and it goes off all the time telling me to brake. This can come when I am already braking at a light behind someone, in a turn where it sees a high curb as an obstruction, once where there was a suddenly light change - it sensed the change of light to shade as an object. This is a daily occurrence for me. Ironically when someone ran a red light and hit my 2014 almost head on (totaling it), the warning didn't even come up until they were almost in the collision - while my mind had already begun to take evasive action, the system had no clue. All that said, the smartest guy as to AI was interviewed a few weeks ago about the Tesla collision and he said to paraphase, that these systems are not at a state of deployment where they can make the decisions for us. They are only driving aids - that real AI in driving that can be fully trusted won't happen in our lifetimes. It is a generation or more away. So, while I accept the warnings, I would not want it slamming on my brakes where someone else will rear end me. Based on how people drive here one is more likely to get hit by someone from behind. I have the lane departure off because I got tired of what seemed like constant warnings at changes in the color of the pavement, or hedges angling towards the road, changes in road width. Each person has to decide for themselves on how they want to drive. If you turn it off and miss that someone has stepped in front of you, you will feel bad also. That said see this video of the gal who was hit by the self-driving Uber car.




https://youtu.be/RASBcc4yOOo?t=3
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for your input. In my case the lights flashed and the brakes were turned on at almost same time. I am going to get the car checked due to another problem with acceleration after a stop. maybe these two problems are related.

Generally speaking, I would prefer to have a safety system like this to warn me, but not to do the actual braking.
 

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That's what you get with the tech package, warning with no braking. Mine works fairly well. I did get the false warning once when driving through an intersection with no cars in sight. No idea what set it off. I've also turned off the lane departure warning. All these nanny driving aids would be great except that it encourages everyone to continue to try to drive and read their phone at the same time. We've all tried, we've all failed, yet we continue to do it.
 

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As others have stated, on my '17 MDX I've had the CMBS largely warn me with flashes, the steering wheel "wiggle" and sometimes an audible sound periodically. Only once have I had the brakes kick in, and that's when a car in front of me abruptly turned and i started to swerve to get around it (rather than braking). In this case the braking wasn't hard, but you could feel the car slow down. I have heard of others saying the car would stop and have someone rear-end them - so I'm thinking about whether the brake lights illuminate when the car does the braking and you're not on the brake pedal - that would be interesting to know.

So far the jury's out on the CMBS for me - although if (and when) it saves my bacon in a real emergency situation I'm sure I'll be happy it's there....

andy
 

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I am also on a Lexus forum and a couple of folks have experienced the Lexus Pre-Collision System automatically braking when running over metal plates in the road. Fortunately they were doing about 30 mph at the time.
 

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I have heard of others saying the car would stop and have someone rear-end them - so I'm thinking about whether the brake lights illuminate when the car does the braking and you're not on the brake pedal - that would be interesting to know.
Yes, the brake lights illuminate when the CMBS applies them.
 

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I do not have CMBS on my 2015 MDX, only the brake collision warning. Based on my experience with it lately I would not want the full CMBS. My system is set to the normal level of warning, and it goes off all the time telling me to brake. This can come when I am already braking at a light behind someone, in a turn where it sees a high curb as an obstruction, once where there was a suddenly light change - it sensed the change of light to shade as an object. This is a daily occurrence for me. Ironically when someone ran a red light and hit my 2014 almost head on (totaling it), the warning didn't even come up until they were almost in the collision - while my mind had already begun to take evasive action, the system had no clue. All that said, the smartest guy as to AI was interviewed a few weeks ago about the Tesla collision and he said to paraphase, that these systems are not at a state of deployment where they can make the decisions for us. They are only driving aids - that real AI in driving that can be fully trusted won't happen in our lifetimes. It is a generation or more away. So, while I accept the warnings, I would not want it slamming on my brakes where someone else will rear end me. Based on how people drive here one is more likely to get hit by someone from behind. I have the lane departure off because I got tired of what seemed like constant warnings at changes in the color of the pavement, or hedges angling towards the road, changes in road width. Each person has to decide for themselves on how they want to drive. If you turn it off and miss that someone has stepped in front of you, you will feel bad also. That said see this video of the gal who was hit by the self-driving Uber car.




I have a 2018 Hybrid Advance, and I don't know if there are differences in the CMBS between that and your 2015, but there are some anomalies in what you are describing. If you are already on the brakes, the first two levels of the system (as described in an earlier post) should not activate unless your distance is close and closing speed is high; the system radar should not respond to a curb, unless it is a very, very, high curb; the system should not respond to shadows, which provide no reflectivity to radar; and (to respond to a different post), the lane departure warning is camera based and the camera needs to be able to see lane lines to give a warning. I would suggest having the radar unit checked for function and alignment and cleanliness of the radome, and, for the other post, checking the alignment of the camera and any dirt on the windshield that might be interfering with its function. In my 2018, I have found the CMBS and LDW both excellent. (And IIHS has given the CMBS a "Superior" rating.) The LKAS is also excellent in my experience. And yes, these are "driver assist" systems, not autopilots, but in the 2018 at least, I find their function very useful. There is a reason that Acura calls the CMBS a mitigation system rather than a "prevention" system. If drivers think they can do better without such assist systems, the fatality and permanent injury figures suggest they're wrong.
 

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I had the exact same scenario happen to me! But when I think back, i was trying to go and when the car in front of my hadn't completed the U-Turn; so in essence i passing very close to the trunk of his car. To the system can't tell that the car isn't directly in front of you and that it is in the process of turning, so it applies the brake.
When it happen to me; i was very lucky i had no one behind me; they would for sure have ran into the back of my car.
 

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I had the exact same scenario happen to me! But when I think back, i was trying to go and when the car in front of my hadn't completed the U-Turn; so in essence i passing very close to the trunk of his car. To the system can't tell that the car isn't directly in front of you and that it is in the process of turning, so it applies the brake.
When it happen to me; i was very lucky i had no one behind me; they would for sure have ran into the back of my car.
I am reading these recent posts with great interest as I just had two very similar incidents happen recently with the CMBS. The first was in a 2019 loaner TLX. The driver in front of me was completing a u-turn and I was just starting to accelerate through when the brakes slammed on without warning and I was helpless. I literally braced for the impact I expected from the car behind me but luckily he was far enough back not to hit me. A few days later, my wife experienced the exact same thing in her 2017 MDX. This time, someone was making a right turn and I guess the CMBS thought a collision was imminent and hit the brakes...I don't think she had any warning either. The odd thing is that I have driven her car on the highway many times and often will get the "brake" warning, particularly when changing lanes, but it never occurred to me that the car might simply decide to slam on the brakes just to be safe. Needless to say, I am turning off this "safety" system before it causes a serious accident.
 

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especially if I or the car in front is turning - possibly even cleared the car will warn heavily with brake brake brake. I can already be on the brakes safely managing the car and it goes off. This AI stuff is crap and people will die because the companies are pushing features that aren't safe. They are taking the software industry approach that the next version will be better. It is crap and we are all paying for it. The software industry is about profit first and people second. That is my opinion. I worked in that industry for 20 years and I have seen and heard things the public has no idea of. Try - "It doesn't work" Response to engineers - we know but we promised we'd send them something so send it to them even if it is broken. We'll fix it in the next version. Let me be clear - I am not saying Acura / Honda puts out things they know are not up to par. I am saying that the software industry in general wants a steady cash flow and they get it anyway they can. Think of B Gates and the windows crash during an unveiling - par for the course for all software vendors. They want to be the first party with the feature.
 

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Threads like this amuse me sometimes. Technology evolves and will always be better tomorrow. And I agree there is room for improvement in all of these systems. I’d be reluctant to say it’s AI though since that means it’s constantly learning, VS just being programmed and sent on it’s marry way as is the case when it comes off the assembly line.

All that being said, we are quick to blame the technology vs maybe trying to look at ourselves. I have 2 cars with these tech (19 MDX and 16 Accord) and yes the warnings do come on from time to time, but neither of them have applied the brakes because of a danger perceived. To me it would seem awareness of surroundings and proper following distance would mitigate the cars programming from taking over.

Basically I agree that the software needs improvement and I wouldn’t rely on it saving me, but I also think a case could be made if the system is activating, what did you do to cause it to activate...
 

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I had a troubling experience with my new MDX recently. I was at a signal taking a left turn and the car in front of me was taking a U-turn. Somehow the MDX put the automatic brakes on and my car suddenly stopped. There was plenty of distance between my car and the other car and no possibility of collision.

My question is: Is it safe to keep the automatic braking system on? I think it is on by default.

I found this report on NHTSA where there was a collision and injuries due to this feature. (sorry I cannot post URLs yet)
www dot nhtsa dot gov/vehicle/2018/ACURA/MDX/SUV/AWD

PURCHASED ACURA MDX IN JANUARY OF 2018 SO IT IS NOW 3 MONTHS. I BELIEVE THERE IS SOMETHING SIGNIFICANTLY WRONG WITH ITS AUTOMATIC BRAKING SYSTEM. I WAS DRIVING DOWN A HILL ON A RESIDENTAL, FAST PACED ROAD, WITH A GUARDRAIL TO MY RIGHT SIDE AND ANOTHER CAR PASSING ME ON THE LEFT SIDE. WE BOTH WE TRAVELING AT THE SPEED LIMIT OF 40 MILES PER HOUR WHEN ALL OF A SUDDEN MY CAR'S BRAKES WENT ON, CAUSING ME TO SWERVE INTO THE GUARDRAIL. FROM THERE, I WAS THROWN INTO ONCOMING TRAFFIC CAUSING A COLLISON. I BELIEVE THE SYSTEM BECAME CONFUSED AND STEPPED ON THE BRAKES WHEN IT DETECTED THE OTHER VEHICLE ACCELERATING TOWARDS ME.
Hey, I too have had that happen with my 2018 MDX.... TWICE! Also in similar conditions. Both times was at an intersection where I was moving forward after the light turned green. In both instances, a person in front was turning of which I was well aware of... in one case I was turning as well, in the other, I was going straight. Both times, the car SLAMMED on the brakes.... there was NOTHING in front of my car. Scared the living **** out of me and was really glad the people behind me stopped. THIS DOES NOT MITIGATE COLLISIONS BUT CAUSES THEM. I asked Acura to turn the damn thing off and they said it cannot be shut off permanently. I have to turn it off every time I start the car!
 

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I've noticed this before on my 2016 as well, which usually only occurs when the car in front doing the turn is on the way corner of my front, but still clear for me to go straight ahead. I think this occurs because we only have the one front sensor in the grille + the camera on the windshield and the corners might be just on the edge of the detection ranges, giving them a higher degree of error. They may also have been programmed to just be more conservative that we normally would be. I tend to power through these instances, keeping on the gas while turning more away from the car ahead that is turning and I can get through fine, but yes, it does present the annoying steering wheel shakes and an attempt at auto braking. I think accuracy of this braking could be increased if Acura used more cameras and sensors like Teslas have, which pretty much envelopes the Teslas with a bubble of sensor and camera data in 360 degrees. Our sensors have blind spots at around 70-80 degrees from front, through the sides and back (since the blind spot sensors and backup camera do not auto activate braking).
 

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I've noticed this before on my 2016 as well, which usually only occurs when the car in front doing the turn is on the way corner of my front, but still clear for me to go straight ahead. I think this occurs because we only have the one front sensor in the grille + the camera on the windshield and the corners might be just on the edge of the detection ranges, giving them a higher degree of error. They may also have been programmed to just be more conservative that we normally would be. I tend to power through these instances, keeping on the gas while turning more away from the car ahead that is turning and I can get through fine, but yes, it does present the annoying steering wheel shakes and an attempt at auto braking. I think accuracy of this braking could be increased if Acura used more cameras and sensors like Teslas have, which pretty much envelopes the Teslas with a bubble of sensor and camera data in 360 degrees. Our sensors have blind spots at around 70-80 degrees from front, through the sides and back (since the blind spot sensors and backup camera do not auto activate braking).
Neoshi, do you know for a fact that the camera plays a role in the collision mitigation system? I know that it does in the Subaru, but those are entirely camera systems (two high-resolution, color cameras. In the Acuras, I believe it only serves for the lane keeping, but I'd like to hear otherwise.
 

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and an attempt at auto braking
My 2014 only has the warning on the dash rather than actual braking but I'm curious - when it 'auto-brakes' and when you say you 'power through', is it something that can easily be overridden with driver input or does it really haul on the brakes to the point where the vehicle will try to stop until the obstacle is no longer in the way?
 

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Neoshi, do you know for a fact that the camera plays a role in the collision mitigation system? I know that it does in the Subaru, but those are entirely camera systems (two high-resolution, color cameras. In the Acuras, I believe it only serves for the lane keeping, but I'd like to hear otherwise.
Yessir. Here's a page from Acura (though it mentions the TLX, this is how it is for all their models): https://www.acura.com/tlx/modals/collision-mitigation-braking-system

Actually just found the mdx page and it also says the same: https://www.acura.com/mdx/modals/collision-mitigation-braking-system-features

And who the heck did Honda/Acura hire to make them spell models as MODALS?
 

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My 2014 only has the warning on the dash rather than actual braking but I'm curious - when it 'auto-brakes' and when you say you 'power through', is it something that can easily be overridden with driver input or does it really haul on the brakes to the point where the vehicle will try to stop until the obstacle is no longer in the way?
It feels like it is actively braking against my acceleration, but i keep moving.

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