Mitsubishi, Nissan/Infiniti, and Stellantis are the three latest automakers to fulfill a voluntary pledge to equip the bulk of the light vehicles they produce for the U.S. market with automatic emergency braking (AEB), according to IIHS.
Specifically, all three manufacturers have now installed AEB on over 95% of the vehicles produced between Sept. 1, 2021, and Aug. 31, 2022, joining 12 automakers that fulfilled the voluntary commitment in previous years. These include Audi, BMW, Ford/Lincoln, Honda/Acura, Hyundai/Genesis, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Subaru, Tesla, Toyota/Lexus, Volkswagen, and Volvo that have crossed the finish line early.
In 2016, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) joined forces to broker the AEB commitment with 20 automakers. Each manufacturer pledged to outfit at least 95% of their light-duty cars and trucks with the crash avoidance technology by the production year that just began on Sept. 1, 2022. Light-duty vehicles are those with a gross vehicle weight rating of 8,500 pounds or less.
IIHS expects the voluntary commitment to prevent 42,000 crashes and 20,000 injuries by 2025. The estimate is based on IIHS research that found that front crash prevention systems with both forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking cut rear-end crashes by half.
To fulfill their commitment, 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 tests.
AEB is a critical safety technology, and now more vehicles will have it — whether a buyer is shopping for it or not. Moreover, many of the AEB systems provide additional capabilities like pedestrian detection and the ability to function at highway speeds — offering all roadway users even more lifesaving benefits.
Along with the pledge to equip light-duty vehicles with AEB, automakers committed to installing the technology on vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of 8,501-10,000 pounds on a slightly longer timeline, by the production year that begins Sept. 1, 2025.
Five automakers reported producing vehicles in that range for the U.S. market in the most recent year. Among them, Nissan reported 100% were equipped with AEB, Ford 76%, and Stellantis 34%. Mercedes-Benz reported that none of its heavier vehicles were equipped with AEB, and General Motors did not report a percentage of equipped vehicles in this weight class.