A large number of auto manufacturers have taken a giant step toward further increasing the safety of their fleets by agreeing to equip all of their new vehicles with automatic braking systems in the near future, according to a news release from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
These automatic braking systems will use radar, lasers, or cameras to detect an upcoming collision and activate the brakes to slow or stop the car if the driver doesn’t react in time. Automatic Braking is offered on many new cars now, but usually as an optional extra.
The automakers who agreed to implement standard automatic braking are Audi, BMW, Ford, General Motors, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Tesla, Toyota, Volkswagen, and Volvo. Each will work closely with the NHTSA and the IIHS to come up with a timeline for implementation.
In the meantime, the IIHS and the US Department of Transportation will be at work encouraging other manufacturers of light vehicles and trucks to adopt automated vehicle technology like automatic brakes.
The bottom line of all of this, of course, is that both the government and auto manufacturers are working to increase safety on the roads, as well as decreased injury costs—the IIHS reports that automatic brakes can reduce insurance claims by over a third (35%).
If sales continue as they have, then this should result in a little over half of all cars on the road being equipped with automatic brakes (the 10 manufacturers who are in the agreement represented 57% of light-duty auto sales in 2014).