Automakers such as Audi, BMW, Ford, General Motors, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Tesla, Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo is working with National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) to come out with agreement details and implementation timeline to equip all new vehicles with automatic emergency braking technology as standard feature.
Mark Rosekind, NHTSA chief, said that there’s always going to be a need for regulations to keep the public safe. He also added that it is a new convention and a new pact; therefore it is different from NCAP (New Car Assessment Program) and IIHS programs. The two programs will still continue to run side by side with the new program. All the programs that created so far were aimed to save people’s life.
Automatic emergency braking systems work in such a way that it will apply the brakes automatically or either slow or stop the car if the driver does not respond in time. It is using sensors such as radar, cameras or lasers to detect potential collision and try to avoid it.
According to IIHS, only 1 percent of 2015 model year vehicles include automatic braking as a standard feature whereas 26 percent include it as an option. IIHS was founded by insurance industry. The group mentioned that the technology could reduce insurance claims for injuries by up to 35 percents. Moreover, automatic braking system has already been incorporated into its safety rating system for vehicles. In order to get the highest rating which will be Top Safety Pick+, a vehicle must receive an ‘advanced’ or ‘superior’ rating for front crash prevention and only vehicles with automatic brakes can qualify for the ratings.
Eventhough NHTSA has been slow in mandating automakers for crash prevention technology; the authority has taken steps to encourage wider adoption for automatic braking. However, the agreement could impose some challenges to several other automakers such as Nissan, Honda, Fiat Chrysler, Hyundai, Kia and Subaru. Despite all that, Transportation department and IIHS is encouraging all automakers to bring automatic braking technology to all cars as soon as possible.
General Motors’ vice president, Jeff Boyer, said that both technologies are available on dozens of 2016 model Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac models. He added that there are thirty seven models equipped with forward collision alert which account for more than 1 million vehicles on the road.
According to analysts, it could take a few more years for autonomous braking to be installed in vehicles as automakers need to redesign the electrical and braking systems. There are several suppliers that already working towards autonomous braking system such as Continental AG, Robert Bosch GmbH, Delphi Automotive Plc, Denso Corp and Autoliv Inc.