The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is adding a new requirement for vehicles seeking top grades in auto safety.
Beginning with model year 2018, the agency will update its 5-Star Rating System to include automatic emergency braking (AEB) as a recommended safety technology. AEB has the potential to prevent rear-end crashes or reduce the impact speed of those crashes by automatically applying the brakes.
"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," U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a written statement. "AEB can substantially enhance safety, especially with the number of distracted drivers on the road."
AEB systems work with or without driver intervention, by combining inputs from forward-looking radar and/or camera sensors and driver inputs to determine if 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.
In September, NHTSA and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) announced that ten major vehicle manufacturers have committed to making AEB a standard feature on all new vehicles.
To help the public better understand how AEB works, the agency has created a new AEB webpage.