Ten major automakers have come up with an agreement to add automatic emergency braking as a standard feature on all their new cars, a feature that could reduce auto insurance claims by as much as 35%. The ten automakers are Audi, BMW, Ford, General Motors, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Tesla, Toyota, Volkswagen, and Volvo.
The deal was announced by the U.S. Department of Transportation, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the auto safety arm of the insurance industry, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
Automatic emergency braking involves radar, sensors and lasers that can detect when another vehicle is stopped ahead and warn the driver. If the driver doesn’t react, the car will automatically slam on the brakes and bring itself to a stop before a rear-end accident can occur.
It’s already in some mid-market vehicles now, usually as a $250 to $400 option, but the agreement would bring it to every vehicle. It could represent the next big safety advancement that could have the impact of seat belts, anti-lock brakes and traction control.
The National Transportation Safety Board issued a 60-page report in June asking that automatic braking be required on new cars, saying it would save 1,700 lives a year and eliminate 500,000 injuries.
In this case, safety advocates say the systems could make a huge difference.
“Forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking is the biggest safety advancement since the introduction of stability control over two decades ago,” says Jake Fisher, director of auto testing for Consumer Reports, which issued a statement supporting the move. “This is such an important safety feature that all other manufacturers should bring it to their vehicles as soon as possible.”
Source: USA Today