4 Automakers Offer Auto-Braking Standard on Most Cars
The 2017 Volvo XC60 SUV includes an updated City Safety AEB system. Photo courtesy of Volvo.
Four of 20 automakers reported that automatic emergency braking (AEB) is standard on more than half of their 2017 model-year vehicles, according to an update released jointly by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
The four automakers are Tesla (99.8% of fleet), Mercedes-Benz (96%), Volvo (68%) and Toyota (56%). They are followed by Honda (30%), Hyundai (9%) and Kia (5%).
Even without making AEB standard, another five automakers reported that at least 30% of vehicles they produced in 2017 are equipped with AEB. They are Audi (73%), BMW (58%), Subaru (47%), Volkswagen (36%) and Maserati/Alfa Romeo (30%).
The 20 automakers previously agreed to voluntarily equip virtually all of their new passenger vehicles with a low-speed AEB system by September 2022. These systems will include forward collision warning. The technology is designed to prevent and mitigate front-to-rear crashes.
“The growing number of vehicles offering automated emergency braking is good news for America’s motorists and passengers,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao. “With each model year, manufacturers will increasingly utilize technology to allow vehicles to ‘see’ the world around them and navigate it more safely.”
The voluntary agreement to make AEB standard was announced in March 2016. The goal is to get the technology into a wider swath of the vehicle fleet faster.
“IIHS is pleased to see that automakers are steadily moving toward the shared goal of putting standard AEB into every new car they sell,” said David Zuby, executive vice president and chief research officer of IIHS. “This is a big win for safety on our nation’s roads, which will see fewer crashes and injuries because of this commitment.”
By 2025, the commitment will prevent 28,000 crashes and 12,000 injuries, IIHS estimated. Consumer Reports has agreed to assist in monitoring automaker progress.
“This progress is great news for luxury car buyers and many others, but many automakers still need to do more, as Consumer Reports analysis indicates that only 19% of 2017 models included these lifesaving technologies as standard features,” said David Friedman, director of cars and product policy and analysis at Consumers Union. Consumers Union is the policy and mobilization division of Consumer Reports.
“Automakers, safety groups and the government should also work together to make highway operation and pedestrian detection standard features on all AEB systems,” Friedman added.
Manufacturers recently submitted their first yearly AEB agreement progress reports for vehicles manufactured from Sept. 1, 2016, through Aug. 31, 2017, for the U.S. market.
The participating automakers include Audi, BMW, Fiat Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar Land Rover, Kia, Maserati, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi Motors, Nissan, Porsche, Subaru, Tesla Motors, Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo. These companies represent more than 99% of the U.S. automobile market.
Toyota is the frontrunner when it comes to having the largest number of 2017 vehicles with standard AEB. The automaker equipped 56% of its 2017 fleet — 1.4 of 2.5 million vehicles — with AEB. General Motors has the second-highest number of 2017 models with AEB — 551,777 of 2.8 million vehicles, representing 20% of its 2017 fleet. Honda is third-highest with 492,330 of 1.6 million vehicles with AEB, representing 30% of its 2017 fleet.
Other manufacturers have yet to make significant progress. Fewer than 10% of 2017 vehicles sold by Fiat Chrysler, Ford, Hyundai, Kia and Mitsubishi have AEB. Jaguar Land Rover and Porsche didn’t offer the feature at all on 2017 vehicles.