For many years, motor vehicle manufacturers have focused their efforts on protecting vehicle occupants who were involved in an accident from suffering serious injury or death. Examples of these types of safety technologies include seat belts and airbags. More recently, the focus has shifted to implementing safety features aimed to prevent motor vehicle accidents from happening in the first place.
Backup cameras, electronic stability control systems, and tire pressure monitoring systems are all examples of devices and technologies that are available in many new cars and trucks. While research indicates that these types of safety systems are effective in preventing traffic accidents, car manufactures have been hesitant to standardize such features and the federal government has been slow to force the issue.
Recently, 10 large motor vehicle companies pledged their commitment to include automatic emergency braking systems in every new vehicle built. Research proves the value of AEB systems in reducing a "large number of crashes," including rear-end crashes. Unlike a driver who may grow fatigued or become distracted and fail to apply a vehicle's brakes in time, AEB is always on and monitoring not only a driver's actions but also the whereabouts and movements of other vehicles. In cases where an AEB system senses that a driver isn't going to brake in time to avoid a crash, the system can take over and apply the brakes automatically.
Ford, Volkswagen, BMW, and General Motors are among those companies who made the pledge to include AEB systems in all new vehicles. The commitment of the 10 auto manufacturers will likely serve to pressure other manufacturers to follow suit. Additionally, it's also likely that growing pressure from the American public and U.S. federal safety agencies will lead to additional safety features becoming standard.
Source: NHTSA, "DOT and IIHS announce a historic commitment from 10 automakers to include automatic emergency braking on all new vehicles," Sept. 11, 2015