Ford, General Motors, Toyota, and seven other international automakers today got behind a federal effort to make automatic emergency braking (AEB) a standard feature on all new vehicles, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced today.
“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 U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.
Fox said in a statement that if such technology was only available as an add-on or luxury option, “too few Americans will see the benefits.”
The 10 companies, representing 57% of U.S. light-duty vehicle sales– Audi, BMW, Ford, General Motors, Mazda, Mercedes Benz, Tesla, Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo – will work with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the National Highway and Transporation Safety Administration in the coming months on the details of implementation, including the timeline for making AEB a standard feature.
The Department of Transportation also encouraged all other light-vehicle and trucking manufacturers to bring automated vehicle technology to their vehicles as well.
Automatic emergency braking includes a range of systems designed to address the large number of crashes, especially rear-end crashes, in which drivers do not apply brakes or fail to apply sufficient braking power to avoid or mitigate a crash. AEB systems use on-vehicle sensors such as radar, cameras or lasers to detect an imminent crash, warn the driver and, if the driver does not take sufficient action, engage the brakes.
A recent report from IIHS shows that AEB technology can reduce insurance injury claims by up to 35%. The 10 manufacturers committing to across-the-board AEB represented 57 percent of U.S. light-duty vehicle sales in 2014.
In January, NHTSA announced its proposal to add automatic emergency braking to the list of recommended advanced safety features included in its New Car Assessment Program.