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All cars will have automatic braking in six years

Lucas Mearian | March 18, 2016
Automatic braking systems could prevent 28,000 crashes a year.

The U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) announced today a commitment by 20 automakers to make automatic emergency braking (AEB) standard on their cars.

"It's an exciting time for vehicle safety," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. "By proactively making emergency braking systems standard equipment on their vehicles, these 20 automakers will help prevent thousands of crashes and save lives. It's a win for safety and a win for consumers."

The automakers represent 99% of the U.S. auto market, meaning AEB will be standard on virtually all new all new light-duty cars and trucks with a gross vehicle weight of up to 8,500 lbs. within six years. AEB will be standard on virtually all trucks with a gross vehicle weight between 8,501 lbs. and 10,000 lbs. beginning no later than Sept. 1, 2025,  NHTSA said.

NHTSA estimates that the agreement will make AEB standard on new cars three years faster than could be achieved through the formal regulatory process. During those three years, according to IIHS estimates, the move is expected to prevent 28,000 crashes and 12,000 injuries.

This isn't the first time automakers have made such a pledge. Last September, 10 leading automakers pledged to make AEB systems standard. The previous pledge came in response to a challenge by  NHTSA and IIHS.

In December,  NHTSA announced plans to rate AEB systems and other advanced technologies under its 5-Star Safety Ratings beginning in model year 2018.

Automatic emergency braking (AEB) systems detect an impending forward crash with another vehicle in time to avoid or mitigate the crash. The systems initially alert the driver to the impending impact to allow them time to take corrective action to avoid it. If the driver doesn't respond fast enough to avoid the accident, the AEB system will automatically apply the brakes to help prevent or reduce the severity of a crash.

"It's an exciting time for vehicle safety," Foxx said in a statement. "By proactively making emergency braking systems standard equipment on their vehicles, these 20 automakers will help prevent thousands of crashes and save lives."

The automakers who committed to the AEB deal include: Audi, BMW, Fiat Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar Land Rover, Kia, Maserati, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Porsche, Subaru, Tesla, Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo. The feature will also be standard on most medium-duty trucks by September 2025.

"The benefits of this commitment are far reaching -- from injuries and deaths averted to the recovery of productivity that would otherwise be lost in traffic jams caused by the crashes prevented," IIHS Chief Research Officer David Zuby said in a statement. "It also assures that all Americans will benefit from this technology."

 

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