Automakers agree to make automatic braking a standard feature
A group of 10 major automakers has agreed to make automatic emergency braking (AEB) a standard feature on future vehicles.
Several government agencies have recommended the technology for new vehicles, but so far none have moved to include the systems in new regulations. The National Transportation Safety Board recently issued a public call for a mandate, criticizing the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for not already initiating such laws.
In an interesting twist, the automakers have voluntarily come to the table and agreed to work with the NHTSA and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety to establish a strategy that will ultimately make collision-avoidance technologies standard on new cars. Notably, the language in statements from automakers and the IIHS suggests it will be a voluntary program.
“General Motors supports the call for a voluntary industry safety agreement that would lead to making forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking standard on light vehicles,” GM said in a statement.
Aside from GM, the list of supporting automakers includes Audi, BMW, Ford, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Tesla, Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo. Notable exclusions currently include brands associated with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Nissan, Jaguar Land Rover, Mitsubishi and Subaru, among others.
“We are entering a new era of vehicle safety, focused on preventing crashes from ever occurring, rather than just protecting occupants when crashes happen,” said US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “But if technologies such as automatic emergency braking are only available as options or on the most expensive models, too few Americans will see the benefits of this new era.”
The IIHS suggests AEB tech can reduce insurance injury claims by up to 35 percent, echoing the NTSB’s estimate that rear-end collisions cause 1.7 million accidents and 1,700 fatalities in the US each year.