20 Automakers Committed to Preventing Car Accidents With Automatic Braking
Safety features in cars have come a long way over the past century. As technology has progressed, it’s allowed automakers to make the vehicles we rely on everyday safer and safer. Despite the progress we’ve made, tens of thousands of people still die in car accidents every year and thousands more are injured.
The majority of all car accidents are caused by human error and many types of new automotive technology are being introduced to step in when drivers don’t react in time. Automatic emergency braking (AEB) systems have been making their way into cars for the past few years and they’re well on their way to becoming a standard feature in cars and other vehicles in the not too distant future.
Recently, the NHTSA and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) announced that twenty major automakers had pledged their support for AEB systems by promising to make them standard in almost all vehicles by the year 2022. Some of the twenty automakers include Ford, General Motors, Fiat Chrysler, Honda, Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Toyota, Volkswagen, Mitsubishi, and Hyundai. Together, these automakers represent over 99% of the American auto market. This agreement applies to nearly all light-duty cars and trucks.
Shortly after this news broke, Toyota took their commitment to this new technology to the next level by announcing that AEB systems would become standard features on most of their vehicles by the end of 2017.
Automatic emergency braking systems work by using radar, cameras, and other sensors to detect when a car accident is very likely to happen. If the driver doesn’t react in time, the AEB system will automatically apply the brakes to prevent the accident from happening.
NHTSA Secretary Anthony Foxx said, “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. It’s a win for safety and a win for consumers.”
This move is welcome news in light of recent reports of an increasing number of roadway deaths. In February 2016, the NHTSA estimated that the number of roadway deaths for the first nine months of 2015 was up by about 9.3% when compared to the first nine months of 2014. The IIHS believes that by making AEB systems standard features in cars and trucks, about 1.9 million car accidents could be prevented or made less severe every year. About half of all two-car accidents happen when one car runs into the back of another car, injuring 500,000 people and killing 1,700 every year.
If you’re concerned that having AEB technology as a standard feature on cars will drive up the price of cars, you have nothing to worry about. The price for an AEB system is only about $250 to $400 and analysts say the cost of adding this sort of technology has progressively been coming down in price.