Auto-braking taking aim at car crashes

Safety advocates have called for the pledge to be mandatory

(NBC News) A major safety advance that’s an option on some cars will eventually become standard for all cars, trucks and SUVs sold in the United States under a new agreement announced Thursday.

Twenty automakers say that by 2022 they will make automatic emergency breaking, or AEB, standard for almost all cars and light trucks.

It’s an advance that could avoid or lessen more than half of the 1.7 million rear end crashes a year in the United States.

AEB technology uses camera, radar and other sensors to see cars or other objects in the way and slows or stops the vehicle if the driver doesn’t react.

Ten automakers already offer the technology as an option on certain models. Ten more will join to make it standard.

Some safety advocates have called for the pledge to be mandatory, but the director of auto testing for consumer reports says competitive forces and consumers will keep the pressure on automakers.

“The people that experience the technology are sold, they are advocates, they are telling other people you need this system,” said Jake Fisher.

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