By 2022, all cars manufactured for the U.S. market will be required to include automatic emergency braking (AEB) as a standard feature according to a landmark deal orchestrated by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
The commitment was made by 20 automakers that represent more than 99% of the U.S. auto market, including: Audi, BMW, FCA US LLC, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar Land Rover, Kia, Maserati, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi Motors, Nissan, Porsche, Subaru, Tesla Motors Inc., Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo Car USA. The deal will deliver this safety technology more quickly to consumers than would be possible through traditional regulatory processes—three years faster, according to NHTSA. IIHS says this will save 28,000 crashes and 12,000 injuries that would have taken place during those three years of regulatory hearings.
The benefit of AEB systems is that it helps to prevent crashes or reduce the possibility of accidents by applying the brakes for the driver through the use of on-board sensors, such as radar, cameras and lasers, to detect an imminent crash or warn the driver. AEB systems also apply the brakes if the driver does not take action quickly enough. The NHTSA says AEB has been shown to reduce crashes and injuries not just in the U.S. but around the world.
"Deploying AEB on a wide scale will allow us to further evaluate the technology's effectiveness and its impact on insurance losses, so that more insurers can explore offering discounts or lower premiums to consumers who choose AEB-equipped vehicles,” says Jack Salzwedel, IIHS board chairman and CEO of American Family Insurance.
Beginning no later than Sept. 1, 2022, the commitment will make AEB systems standard on virtually all light-duty cars and trucks with a gross vehicle weight of 8,500 pounds or less. By Sept. 1, 2025, virtually all trucks with a gross vehicle weight between 8,501 pounds and 10,000 pounds will be required to have AEB systems as a standard.
“It's an exciting time for vehicle safety. By making automatic emergency braking systems standard equipment on their vehicles, these 20 automakers will help prevent crashes and save lives,” says U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. "It's a win for safety and a win for consumers."
According to the NHTSA, the commitment to standard AEB technology accounts for the evolution of the technology so that it includes the functionality that will allow for a reduction in accidents based on research and crash data, but also so that it does not hamper any future improvements made to AEB technology that are emerging.
The NHTSA and IIHS are also partnering with Consumer Reports in order to assist in monitoring the progress being made by automakers concerning AEB installation and commitment. Consumer Reports calls automatic emergency braking technology one of the most promising safety features since electronic stability control in vehicles.
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