RUCKERSVILLE, Va. -- Federal safety regulators are putting automatic emergency braking on a faster track to becoming an industrywide standard.
Seeking to circumvent a prolonged rule-making process, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration last week secured a commitment from a diverse group of automakers -- including General Motors, Toyota and Volkswagen -- to equip all new vehicles with automatic brakes as a standard feature in the near future.
The agreement, orchestrated by NHTSA and its private-sector counterpart, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, aims to dramatically speed penetration of the nascent technology without the fuss and political overtones of a federal mandate. It also poses an implicit challenge to the industry to embrace crash-prevention technology, and could be a boon to leading suppliers in that market, including Delphi, Magna, Bosch, Continental, ZF TRW and Mobileye.
The automakers in the pact "have committed to an important principle: AEB is a life-saving technology that should be available to every vehicle owner," NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind said in a statement Friday, Sept. 11, adding: "We encourage every other manufacturer to join this effort."