Automakers Pledge To Make Automatic Braking Standard

Volvo Safety

Ten U.S. automakers say they’ll make Forward Collision Warning and Automatic Emergency Braking standard on all vehicles within five years.  The commitment comes in coordination with both the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

The group of automakers includes Audi, BMW, Ford, General Motors, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Tesla, Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo, and they’ll be hammering out all the details and timeline within the next few months.

The agreement was announced by U.S. officials and IIHS President Adrian Lund at a dedication event for the safety group’s newly expanded vehicle research center.

“There’s always going to be a need for regulations to keep the public safe,” NHTSA chief Mark Rosekind said. “This is a new convention and a new pact. NCAP (New Car Assessment Program) and IIHS programs will continue, and regulations are still available, and we use all paths to save lives. The industry in this case though, hasn’t waited for regulation.”

According to IIHS, just one percent of 2015 model year vehicles included automatic braking as a standard feature, while 26 percent included the technology as an option.

“If technologies such as automatic emergency braking are only available as options or on the most expensive models, too few Americans will see the benefits of this new era,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a statement. These 10 companies are committing to making AEB available to all new-car buyers.”

One participating automaker is Volvo, which says it already has approximately 250,000 vehicles on U.S. roads with these technologies.  Volvo introduced low speed Automatic Emergency Braking as standard in the 2009 introduction of the XC60 and the technology became standard in all Volvos by 2014.

“Automatic Emergency Braking and Forward Collision Warning are technologies that Volvo Cars has been offering drivers for many years. Our research has shown that they significantly reduce the impact of crashes or can eliminate them all together,” says Lex Kerssemakers, President and CEO of Volvo Cars of North America, “NHTSA and IIHS’s desire to have them standard in all vehicles mirrors our Vision 2020 and is in the best interest  of everyone on the road. We congratulate NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind and IIHS President Adrian Lund on their call-to-action today and we encourage NHTSA to mirror other consumer rating systems like Euro NCAP, which include these technologies in their overall crash rating. ”

General Motors says it supports the call for voluntary safety agreement and says both technologies are available on many 2016 Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac models.

As far as economic impact when it comes to insurance, IIHS, which is funded by the insurance industry, says safety tech systems can reduce insurance claims for injuries by up to 35 percent. The influential safety group already has incorporated automatic braking systems into its safety rating system for vehicles. To earn the group’s highest rating, Top Safety Pick+, a vehicle must receive an “advanced” or “superior” rating for front-crash prevention and only vehicles with automatic brakes qualify for those ratings.

Photo Credit: Volvo


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