NHTSA Adding Automatic Braking To 5-Star Safety Ratings in 2018

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is serious about automatic braking. It’s announced that beginning with model year 2018, the agency will update its 5-Star Rating System to include automatic emergency braking as a recommended safety technology.

“We are adding automatic emergency braking features to the 5-Star Rating System because crash-avoidance technologies can save lives and should be widely accessible,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “AEB can substantially enhance safety, especially with the number of distracted drivers on the road.”

The news comes after the agency announced in September that it had reached voluntary agreements with 10 automakers to include the technology as standard in new cars, but there’s no official timeline yet. Click here for the Car Pro take on the agreement. 

Automatic braking systems, or forward warning collision, uses sensors to warn of an imminent collision and, if the driver does not apply the brakes, engage the brakes automatically.

“We’re putting the brakes on rear-end crashes,” said NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind. “Wherever possible, NHTSA will encourage and accelerate technological innovations that save lives.”

Accident investigators estimate automatic braking could prevent or mitigate an estimated 80 percent of rear-end collisions that cause about 1,700 deaths and a half-million injuries a year.

To help the public better understand how AEB works, the agency has created a new AEB webpage on www.safercar.gov/AEB. The page has a video depicting a scenario where AEB is used to prevent a crash, a demonstration depicting the two types of AEB applications, and information about the current state of the technology.

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