Your Next Car Might Be a Better Driver than You
Chances are it will have automatic emergency braking and other do-it-itself safety features
Very soon, your car will be able to brake in time to avoid an accident even if you don’t.
Automatic emergency braking (AEB) systems will become standard on all cars and light trucks by 2022, thanks to an agreement between the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and 20 automakers that represent nearly the entire U.S. auto market.
AEB systems can help prevent crashes or lessen their severity by braking for the driver if he fails to act in time, according to NHTSA. They use on-car vehicle sensors such as radar, cameras and lasers to detect an imminent crash, alert the driver and hit the brakes if the driver hasn’t already done so.
“The benefits of this commitment are far reaching,” said David Zuby, IIHS executive vice president and chief research officer, in a press release. “From injuries and deaths averted to the recovery of productivity that would otherwise be lost in traffic jams caused by the crashes prevented. It also assures that all Americans will benefit from this technology.”
Related: How to Make Your Next Car Safer
This new technology may even help your wallet, according to Jack Salzwedel, IIHS board chairman and CEO of American Family Insurance. “Deploying AEB on a wide scale will allow us to further evaluate the technology’s effectiveness and its impact on insurance losses, so that more insurers can explore offering discounts or lower premiums to consumers who choose AEB-equipped vehicles.”
What’s coming down the road?
AEB systems take us one step closer to a world of self-driving cars, which will not only brake on their own but do everything else autonomously, too.
Meanwhile, other safety features that help keep human drivers safe are on their way to becoming standard.
Rearview backup cameras. These will become mandatory on all new vehicles in 2018.
Adaptive headlights. This technology keeps your headlights on the road in front of you. If you’re going around a corner, the lights turn with the car.
Blind spot detection/collision warning. If you try to switch lanes while another vehicle is in your blind spot, this technology will give you a warning.
Lane departure warning systems. This system warns you if you drift out of a lane without making intentional moves to do so, such as using your turn signal.