In a bid to make the streets safer, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration intends to recommend and include automatic emergency as part of the five-star vehicle safety ratings.
This addition to the safety ratings will start with 2018 models. The NHTSA announced in September that it has reached agreements with 10 carmakers to use the AEB technology as a standard feature in their vehicles.
"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. AEB can substantially enhance safety, especially with the number of distracted drivers on the road," Anthony Foxx, U.S. transportation secretary, says in a news release.
AEB technology is a semi-autonomous system that can put a vehicle to a complete stop or slow it down before a rear-end crash occurs, significantly saving a lot of lives. It is estimated to reduce rear-end collisions, which cause the death of 1,700 car occupants on a yearly basis, up to 80 percent.
This technology can automatically engage the brakes when it detects possible collision using both radar and camera sensors, regardless of whether the driver is aware or not. It's divided into two systems: crash imminent braking (CIB) and dynamic brake support (DBS). CIB is responsible for applying brakes when the driver is unaware of an imminent rear-end collision, whereas DBS is in charge of making sure that the vehicle is using enough braking power when the driver is not applying enough to avoid a rear-end collision.
The NHTSA has been recommending advanced safety technologies since 2011, including electronic stability control (ESC), lane departure warnings and forward collision warnings. Also, the agency replaced ESC with mandated rearview video systems in 2014 — a requirement starting with 2019 vehicles.
To make advanced safety technologies more widespread to the public, the NHTSA created a website as well as a video about AEB technology.
The video below demonstrates how AEB technology works, explaining how the two systems will function to prevent rear-end crashes.