Have you been feeling a bit safer on the highways lately, but weren’t sure exactly why? It may be because more than 10 automakers equipped over half of their new cars with Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) technology last year.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) released a report revealing that between September 1, 2017 and August 31, 2018 more than 10 carmakers equipped more than half of their new vehicles sold in the U.S. with AEB.
To put that into perspective, just a year before, less than a third of new cars sold in the U.S. were built with AEB.
The three carmakers that produced the most vehicles fitted with AEB were Toyota with 2.2 million vehicles (90 percent of vehicles built); Nissan at 1.1 million (78 percent of total); and Honda with 980,000 (61 percent of its total production).
Forgetting sheer numbers, by production percentages Tesla topped all other car brands, reporting 100 of its vehicles were equipped with AEB. Mercedes-Benz and Volvo reported more than 93 percent of their respective vehicles received the essential braking technology.
The reporting is part of a voluntary commitment by 20 major carmakers to fit 100 percent of their new cars and trucks with AEB technology by 2022. Based upon this week’s figures, most brands are well on their way to achieving that goal.
The vehicles produced by the 20 automakers who opted into this agreement would represent more than 99 percent of the U.S. auto market. When fully implemented, IIHS estimates AEB tech could help prevent more than 2.8 million crashes and 12,000 injuries each year in the U.S.
Not all are on such strong footing as Toyota and Tesla, however. Fewer than 10 percent of vehicles produced during that year long time frame by Ford, Mitsubishi, and Porsche included AEB. Worse yet, Jaguar Land Rover reported none built with the braking tech.
This report stands as a testament to the shift in thinking of automakers. Just 30 years ago, few automakers put safety as one of their core tenants. Really, Mercedes and Volvo were the only safety-obsessed brands a generation ago.
So to see so many brands commit to including lifesaving tech as standard in their new cars is heartening. Now, we just have to get the entire industry up to speed.