Car Makers Just Agreed to Make Their Vehicles a Whole Lot Safer
Automotive technology has come a long way since Henry Ford's assembly line.
Another 10 vehicle makers signed on to make automatic emergency braking a standard feature on all new cars by the fall of 2022.
Chrysler, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar Land Rover, Kia, Maserati, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Porsche, and Subaru have joined Audi, BMW, Ford, General Motors, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Tesla, Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo in embracing the technology.
Together, the 20 manufacturers represent more than 99 percent of the U.S. auto market, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
Automatic emergency braking (AEB) systems kick in when the motorist does not.
If you're busy daydreaming, chatting, or texting (which you should really stop right now) to notice the car stopped in front of you, an AEB-equipped vehicle uses sensors (radar, cameras, lasers) to detect the impending crash, alert the driver, and apply the brakes -- helping to save lives and reduce insurance claims.
"It's an exciting time for vehicle safety. By proactively making emergency braking systems standard equipment on their vehicles, these 20 automakers will help prevent thousands of crashes and save lives," U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a statement. "It's a win for safety and a win for consumers."
The new agreement, NHTSA said, is expected to make AEB a boilerplate function on new cars three years earlier than through the formal regulatory process. Those three years represent an estimated 28,000 fewer crashes and 12,000 less injuries, the IIHS estimated.