The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is putting the brakes on rear-end collisions. The regulator announced this month that it will update its five-star Rating System to include automatic emergency braking as a recommended safety feature beginning with model year 2018.
Anthony Foxx, U.S. Transportation Secretary, says the technology was added to the ranking system because it saves lives and can significantly enhance safety in a day when more and more drivers are distracted.
Automatic emergency braking systems work by combining information gathered by forward-looking radar, cameras and sensors as well as driver input about the potential for arear-end collision. They can work with or without intervention from the driver.
The technology uses two different systems to detect and prevent a collision. Crash imminent braking applies the brakes in situations where a crash is imminent but the driver has not taken any action to avoid a collision. Dynamic brake support supplements a drivers braking in cases when the driver is not applying enough pressure to avoid a collision.
A dedicated webpage provides an example of how the technology works as well as more information about crash-avoidance technology.
The announcement is an effort by the NHTSA to accelerate the spread of crash-avoidance technology and to make it readily available to consumers. In September, 10 major automakers joined forces with the NHTSA in this effort by committing to make automatic emergency braking standard in all new vehicles.
The NHTSA first began recommending advanced safety features as part of the five-star ranking system in 2011. At that time it recommended that vehicles have forward collision warning, lane departure warning and electronic stability control.
In 2014 electronic stability control became mandatory for all light vehicles and was replaced on the list with rearview video systems. Once that technology becomes mandatory, it too will be replaced with another advanced safety technology.
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