Automatic Braking in Cars to be Mandatory by 2022 cover

Automatic Braking in Cars to be Mandatory by 2022

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The National Safety Council estimated that, in the first 6 months of 2015, there were approximately 18,630 motor-vehicle deaths, and almost 2.2 million injuries, costing approximately $152 billion (a figure that includes direct and indirect costs).





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Automatic Braking in Cars to be Mandatory by 2022

Standard Features

Motor vehicle accidents, including injuries and death, are of major concern to public health professionals.

The National Safety Council estimated that, in the first 6 months of 2015, there were approximately 18,630 motor-vehicle deaths, and almost 2.2 million injuries, costing approximately $152 billion (a figure that includes direct and indirect costs).

To reduce the number of accidents on the road, 20 automakers have come together to make automatic emergency braking a standard feature in all new cars by 2022.

Public Announcement

From a statement by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety announced recently a historic commitment by 20 automakers representing more than 99 percent of the U.S. auto market to make automatic emergency braking a standard feature on virtually all new cars no later than NHTSA’s 2022 reporting year, which begins Sept 1, 2022....

Contined...

Automakers making the commitment are Audi, BMW, FCA US LLC, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar Land Rover, Kia, Maserati, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi Motors, Nissan, Porsche, Subaru, Tesla Motors Inc., Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo Car USA.

The unprecedented commitment means that this important safety technology will be available to more consumers more quickly than would be possible through the regulatory process (from NHTSA)

Avoiding an Accident

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Avoiding an Accident

Automatic emergency brakes (AEB) use a combination of sensors, radar, lasers, and cameras to determine if you’re about to hit another vehicle, and can brake if it finds you’re not reacting.

Saving Lives

It’s also been called autonomous emergency braking, depending on who you ask.

The revolutionary part of this is that this isn’t being mandated by the government, but is instead being led by automakers, who are implementing this process themselves, which could save up to three years compared to going through a formal regulatory process, and in turn save 28000 crashes and 12000 injuries (as per the NHTSA).

Interestingly, Consumer Reports will act as a neutral third party that will monitor the roll out of AEB, and report on it’s effectiveness and safety.

Automatic Emergency Braking

For a primer on what automatic emergency braking is, check out the short YouTube video above.

Video

Bad Habits

There are definite criticisms of automatic emergency braking.

For one, critics will point to how this isn’t one of the leading causes of the death in the US.

In 2014, there were 32,675 motor vehicle related deaths in the US. For comparison, in 2013, there were over 600 thousand deaths from heart disease.

In addition, the implications of this on driving habits, such as will it make people more reliant on technology rather than engaged with driving, will need to be examined.

Even something a simple as having a rear view camera, or blind spot detection (standard on many newer vehicles), changes how you drive.

Safety First

But that being said, people had similar concerns when airbags and seatbelts were made mandatory, so there may just be a learning curve as we adapt to new technology.

This all needs to be considered, but if implemented well, this has the potential to save lives and prevent injuries.

In an age when more and more people are using smartphones while driving (despite it being illegal), extra safety measures should be welcomed.

In fact, a survey by AT&T found that 70% of respondents used smartphones while driving.

In the Future

For public health professionals, this is a great step in reducing injuries and deaths due to motor vehicle collisions, and is one that could potentially be used as a model for other industries.

Of course, this might be completely irrelevant by 2022, as by then we might all be chauffeured around by our own autonomous, self-driving cars.

PLOS

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