Automatic Emergency Braking Promised by 10 AutomakersEngineering360 News Desk | September 16, 2015
Ten top U.S. automakers have pledged to install automatic emergency braking technology in all future car models. Yet, safety advocates want the federal government to make automatic emergency braking mandatory.
The technology typically relies on radar, cameras or lasers to detect impending collisions and warn a driver. Braking commences automatically if the drivers do not react in time. Audi, BMW, Ford, General Motors, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Tesla, Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo have committed to working with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NTSA) toward putting the braking technology in all their car models. The 10 automakers represent approximately 57% of U.S. auto sales.
The safety technology is estimated to prevent or reduce the consequences by 80% due to rear-end collisions that cause 1,700 deaths and 500,000 injuries annually, according to a National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) report. The Insurance Institute for Auto Safety estimates the effort could reduce insurance injury claims by up to 35%. The exact capabilities of the automatic braking systems vary depending on the automaker.
However, safety advocates think the recent pledge falls short. Some suggest that the automakers’ commitment represented a “backroom deal” to avoid stricter government regulation, according to the Associated Press. Clarence Ditlow, executive director at the Center for Auto Safety, is quoted as saying that the government should make such braking systems a legal requirement for all cars.
Automatic safety features represent yet another step toward fully automated, self-driving autonomous vehicles. Automakers such as Toyota have begun developing artificial intelligence that could enhance near-future vehicles without completely taking the steering wheel away. Google, Apple and other tech firms have been testing fully driverless vehicles that could result in safer roads.