As Officials Aim to Completely Prevent Auto Accidents, New Technologies Lead the Way
According to two national safety agencies, more automakers are equipping new vehicles with the crash avoidance technology known as automatic emergency braking (AEB). Currently, four auto manufacturers have AEB as a standard safety feature in their cars; another five auto producers note that 30 percent of their vehicles have AEB. In less than five years, officials say low-speed AEB, which also includes forward collision warning (FCW), will be offered in even more vehicles, welcome news when it comes to passenger safety.
Toyota Leads the Way With AEB Technology
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), an independent, nonprofit scientific and educational organization dedicated to reducing deaths, injuries, and property damage from crashes on the nation’s roads, Toyota vehicles lead the way when it comes to AEB. In 2017, Toyota equipped 56 percent of its vehicles with standard AEB, anywhere from 1.4 – 2.5 million vehicles. Behind Toyota are General Motors and Honda as the second and third-leading manufacturer offering AEB. According to U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao, reports that AEB technology is moving swifter than expected is great news for everyone, drivers, and passengers alike. “With each model year, manufacturers will increasingly utilize technology to allow vehicles to ‘see’ the world around them and navigate it more safely.” And that is the whole purpose of braking technology, notes David Zuby, executive vice president and chief research officer of IIHS. Zuby explains:
“IIHS is pleased to see that automakers are steadily moving toward the shared goal of putting standard AEB into every new car they sell. This is a big win for safety on our nation’s roads, which will see fewer crashes and injuries because of this commitment.”
Officials Hope That by 2025, AEB Will Prevent Thousands of Car Accidents
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) noted that in 2015, more than 35,000 people were killed in vehicle crashes and much more were injured. Recently, the Denver Post noted that this year, Colorado would set another grim record in the number of auto accident deaths in the state. Only a few days into 2018, the state has more than likely surpassed last year’s traffic death toll of 608 people killed on state roads.
Last year, Colorado saw an 11 percent increase over 2015 traffic fatalities and officials say data is trending toward another record-breaking year for traffic deaths; officials reported 600 deaths at the beginning of December. State officials continue to hone in on their ambitious goal of eliminating traffic deaths by 2030 and technology may be the key to helping the state achieve its goal. According to NHTSA, technology can save lives because the leading cause of fatal auto accidents is human error; AEB is expected to take human error out of the equation.
How does it do this? AEB detects an impending forward crash with another vehicle, whether this driver is paying attention or not, and activates the brakes in time to stop a crash from occurring or lessen the severity of the crash. Vehicles with AEB first sound an alarm to alert the driver if the system detects a crash is about to occur. If the driver does not respond or does respond appropriately, AEB takes over, and the technology automatically applies the brakes to slow the vehicle down or stop it all together. This technology works because of onboard sensors, such as radar, cameras, or lasers, and is known to cut rear-end collisions in half.
AEB is already saving lives, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Its data shows that nationwide, there are 10.6 deaths per 100,000 people due to motor crashes; anything that can help reduce that number is a step in the right direction.