According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, nearly one third of all crashes on U.S. roads are rear-end collisions. Actually, one of these accidents happens roughly every 17 seconds. This issue has been a major focus for insurance companies and major automakers for years, constantly searching for ways to reduce the threat of rear-end collisions and consequently the number of deaths, injuries, and repair costs.
Last Friday, ten of the world’s largest automakers announced that, with the help of federal safety regulators and an insurance industry trade group, a new safety mechanism could do just that. They announced that automatic emergency braking will become a standard feature in cars sold in the United States.
A Major Change in the Industry
These systems will use technology such as cameras, radars, or lasers to detect an impending crash and warn the driver to take action. If the driver does not take action, the brakes will be engaged. Many believe this signifies a change in driver safety, where automakers focus on preventing crashes instead of solely focusing on protecting drivers and passengers during a crash.
The automakers involved in the automatic braking feature include Audi, BMW, Ford, General Motors, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Tesla, Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo, who accounted for more than 57 percent of U.S. car sales last year. Each company has agreed to work with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to develop a timeline for installing the new standard feature.
For more on this story, and how it’s bringing us one step closer to self-driving cars, check out this article at Philly.com.