Automakers Announce Commitment to Car Accident Preventing Technology
In the early years of the automobile industry, cars were made with heavy-duty materials that could easily absorb collisions at the posted speeds back in those days. As the cars got faster and the speed limits started increasing, death by auto accidents became more than a passing concern. In response to this new phenomenon, automobile manufacturers brought new focus to automobile safety with the advent of seat belts, reinforced frames, and eventually airbags. While all this new technology had the desired of effect of making cars safer, the automobile industry is poised for the next revolution in car safety.
Automatic Emergency Braking Developments
The dawn of “automatic emergency braking” (AEB) has arrived. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), new technology has been designed to help prevent car accidents before they can occur. Furthermore, 10 major car manufacturers have made a commitment to make this AEB technology a standard feature on all models, beginning at some time in the near feature. These 10 manufacturers include Audi, BMW, Ford, General Motors, Mazda, Mercedes Benz, Tesla, Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo.
What is AEB Technology?
This revolutionary new technology is built around a system of sensors that will be monitoring car performance, road conditions, and how the driver is dealing with what lies ahead. If the automobile senses perilous road conditions, erratic driving, sliding, skidding or anything that seems materially out of the ordinary, the emergency brake system will be automatically deployed in a safe manner. In most situations, the system will warn the driver an accident seems imminent and give them the opportunity to respond. If the driver doesn’t respond, the AEB will take over.
What the Data Says
Through several years of development and testing, the initial data could be referred as very promising. Several studies conducted by the IIHS and other independent parties show that these AEB systems are effectively cutting back on a variety of typical accidents, especially the rear-end collision, which is one of the most common types of accidents reported on the roads. Aside from preventing injuries and fatalities, the auto-makers are hopeful this new technology will result in a drop in insurance premiums across the country.
This announcement was made in conjunction with the September 2015 opening of the new expanded Vehicle Research Center that is being sponsored by the IIHS. According to U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, the time is now to turn the the clock forward and start using safety technology that will save lives. By getting the 10 auto-makers to agree to make it a standard option, it makes the technology available to the largest possible group of consumers.
While a deadline has not yet been set, the Department of Transportation will be working with the car manufacturers to set deadlines for roll-out of the AEB technology. If Foxx has any say in the matter, the technology will be available much sooner than later.