Ford/Lincoln and Honda/Acura installed automatic emergency braking (AEB) on more than 95% of the vehicles they produced between Sept. 1, 2020, and Aug. 31, 2021, bringing the number of automakers to 12 that have fulfilled a voluntary pledge — before the deadline — to equip nearly all the light vehicles they produce for the U.S. market with AEB.
Specifically, 20 manufacturers in total pledged to equip at least 95% of their light-duty cars and trucks with the crash avoidance technology by the production year beginning Sept. 1, 2022, notes the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Light-duty vehicles are those with a gross vehicle weight rating of 8,500 pounds or less.
Ford/Lincoln and Honda/Acura join 10 others who met the commitment early — Audi, BMW, Hyundai/Genesis, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Subaru, Tesla, Toyota/Lexus, Volkswagen, and Volvo.
While two additional automakers exceeded the 90% threshold, they haven’t hit the target percentage goal just yet. Moreover, five of the 20 participating automakers equipped fewer than three-quarters of their vehicles with AEB.
With the Ford and Honda brands reaching the pledge milestone, AEB — an essential safety feature — is now on a huge number of affordable, top-selling vehicles. IIHS expects the voluntary commitment to make the AEB technology available on most vehicles to prevent 42,000 crashes and 20,000 injuries by 2025.
As for the remainder of the 20 automakers who have yet to meet the challenge, some are making strides while others appear to be struggling.
For example, Mitsubishi and Nissan/Infiniti made solid progress, installing AEB on nine out of 10 vehicles they produced last year. Kia just missed that mark, equipping 89% of its vehicles with the technology. Maserati also made progress, boosting its percentage of AEB-equipped vehicles to an impressive 72% from just 48% a year earlier.
However, General Motors, Jaguar Land Rover, Porsche, and Stellantis will need big gains to meet the 2022-23 target for light-duty vehicles. In the past year, they equipped fewer than two-thirds of the units they produced with AEB systems that meet the performance requirements of the voluntary commitment.
Along with Mitsubishi, two of those companies, Jaguar Land Rover and Stellantis, are among the three that made the most progress in 2021. Mitsubishi raised the portion of its vehicles equipped with AEB to 92% from just 39% last year. Jaguar Land Rover boosted its tally to 60% from zero. Finally, Stellantis raised its total to 43% from 14% in 2020.
To fulfill the pledge, manufacturers must attest that the AEB system on their vehicles meets certain performance standards. The forward collision warning feature must meet a subset of NHTSA’s current 5-Star Safety Ratings program requirements on the timing of driver alerts. The AEB must earn at least an advanced rating in the IIHS vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention evaluation. To earn that rating, the system must slow the vehicle by at least 10 MPH in either the 12 or 25 MPH test or 5 MPH in both of the tests.