Overnight the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety(IIHS) announced the launch of a new rear crash prevention ratings program.
The new program is aimed at helping consumers identify which vehicle models have the technology that can prevent or mitigate low-speed backing crashes.
During its first round of testing the IIHS gave two systems the highest rating of superior and four other the second highest rating of advanced.
Engineers for IIHS studied the rear brake systems of six popular 2017 vehicle models which include the: BMW 5 series sedan, Cadillac XT5 SUV, Infiniti QX60 SUV, Jeep Cherokee SUV, Subaru Outback wagon and the Toyota Prius hatchback.
The new three tier system the ratings of superior, advanced or basic are awarded to models with optional or standard rear crash prevention systems.
Those ratings are determined based on if the models have an available rear autobrake and on how it performs in a series of car-to-car and car-to-pole tests. The institute also factors in the availability of parking sensors and rear cross-traffic alerts.
At the end of the testing the Outback and the XT5 both earned a superior rating when they included the optional rear autobrake, parking sensors and rear cross-traffic alert.
The Cherokee, 5 series, QX60 and Prius all earned an advanced rating when they were equipped with the same optional gear.
It's noted by the institute that the ratings evaluate the rear crash prevention systems' ability to prevent damage in low-speed crashes, but not the systems' ability to mitigate injuries in crashes.
In order to award a superior rating the agency states, "a vehicle must have a rear autobrake system that can avoid a crash or substantially reduce speeds in many of the test scenarios, which involve multiple runs at about 4 mph. Systems are assigned points based on the number of runs that either avoid or barely hit the target, reducing speeds to less than 1 mph."
For an advanced rating, "a vehicle must have rear autobrake and avoid a crash or reduce speeds in some of the scenarios. Vehicles that only have parking sensors and/or rear cross-traffic alert earn a basic rating.", according to the IIHS.
You can see the full results here.