It’s official. More than 20 automakers say they’ll make automatic emergency braking standard in most vehicles by 2022. Now they’ll have to sit down and do the hard part, which is to figure out exactly how to get it done and integrate the system into their vehicle lineups.
The big announcement from the National Highway Traffic Safety Transportation and Insurance for Highway Safety came on Thursday, after word of it leaked on Wednesday. NHTSA says the commitment means AEB will be a standard on new cars three years faster than if automakers had waited on the entire regulatory process.
The new plan, called “unprecedented” by the NHTSA, involves 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, Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo. It’s been in the works since last fall, when regulators encouraged automakers to come together and figure out how to voluntarily make AEB a standard feature.
“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,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “It’s a win for safety and a win for consumers.”
AEB systems help prevent crashes or reduce their severity by applying the brakes for the driver. The systems use on-vehicle sensors such as radar, cameras or lasers to detect an imminent crash, warn the driver and apply the brakes if the driver does not take sufficient action quickly enough.
“IIHS member companies strongly support the adoption of effective safety technologies,” said IIHS Board Chairman and CEO of American Family Insurance, Jack Salzwedel. “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.”
Here’s the fine print. The commitment means AEB will become standard on virtually all light-duty cars and trucks with a gross vehicle weight of 8,500 lbs. or less beginning no later than Sept. 1, 2022. AEB will be standard on virtually all trucks with a gross vehicle weight between 8,501 lbs. and 10,000 lbs. beginning no later than Sept. 1, 2025.
NHTSA and IIHS also announced that Consumer Reports will assist in monitoring automaker progress toward meeting the AEB commitment.