Beginning with the 2018 model year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will update its 5-Star rating system to include automatic emergency braking (AEB) as a recommended safety technology.
The policy change will provide vehicle purchasers with new information about technology that has the potential to prevent rear-end crashes or to reduce the impact speed of those crashes, the federal safety agency said.
“We are adding automatic emergency braking features to the 5-Star Rating System because crash-avoidance technologies can save lives and should be widely accessible,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “AEB can substantially enhance safety, especially with the number of distracted drivers on the road.”
NHTSA is an agency within the U.S. Department of Transportation.
AEB systems work with or without driver intervention. They combine inputs from forward-looking radar, camera sensors and driver response to determine whether a rear-end crash is likely to happen.
Specifically, AEB technology includes two systems – crash imminent braking (CIB), which applies the brakes in cases where a rear-end crash is imminent and the driver isn’t taking any action to avoid the crash, and dynamic brake support (DBS), which supplements the driver’s braking input if the driver isn’t applying sufficient braking to avoid a rear-end crash.
(To view a NHTSA video on AEB, click on the photo or link below the headline.)
“We’re putting the brakes on rear-end crashes,” said NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind. “Wherever possible, NHTSA will encourage and accelerate technological innovations that save lives.”
The decision is one of a series of steps NHTSA and DOT have undertaken to accelerate the spread of crash-avoidance technology. In September, NHTSA and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety announced that 10 major vehicle manufacturers have committed to making AEB a standard feature on all new vehicles. NHTSA is also completing a proposal to require transmitters for vehicle-to-vehicle safety communications in new cars, and to identify and address potential obstacles to safety innovations within its existing regulations.
NHTSA first included recommended advanced safety technologies as part of the 5-Star rating system upgrade in 2011. The list initially included electronic stability control (ESC), forward collision warning, and lane departure warning.
In 2014, when ESC became mandatory for all new light vehicles, NHTSA replaced ESC with another technology, rearview video systems. NHTSA plans to remove rearview video systems as a recommended technology in model-year 2019, when the technology will be standard equipment on all new light vehicles.