Automatic Emergency Braking Will be Standard Feature in 99% of Cars and Trucks by 2022

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In the next great auto-safety advance, 20 automakers have agreed to make automatic emergency braking a standard feature on cars and trucks starting in September 2022, it was announced Thursday.

“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.”

The feature has already shown up in many models today, usually as an option. If the car detects it’s about to rear-end the car in front of it, it slams on the brakes — either preventing the accident or vastly decreasing the force of the impact.

Automatic emergency braking joins a long list of safety technologies that gradually became mandated as standard equipment, from seat belts and air bags to more recently backup cameras. The systems use a combination of radar, cameras and lasers to determine distance and relative velocity of vehicles in front. The same sensors are also used in the emerging self-driving car technologies.

The 20 automakers include 99% of the new-car market, says the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which is part of the Transportation Department. The agency, along with the insurance industry’s safety arm, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, negotiated the deal. IIHS says it expects the deal will shave three years off the time it would have taken for a new rule to be implemented.

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SOURCE: USA Today, Chris Woodyard