The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety announced Thursday a commitment by 20 automakers including Ford, Toyota and General Motors to install automatic emergency brakes in all new cars within six years.
These new brake systems will use sensors to detect an imminent crash and help prevent them by applying brakes for the driver. Regulators have been putting pressure on automakers to offer safety systems on a standard basis to prevent traffic fatalities.
In 2012, nearly 2,000 Americans were killed in rear-end crashes. The move toward standardizing emergency brake systems represents a necessary addition as the industry moves toward self-driving cars.
The government's information page on Automatic Emergency Braking systems. says that they can let drivers either avoid or reduce the severity of some of those rear-end crashes.
In a statement about the plan, NHTSA says the "unprecedented commitment" from the automakers will bring the safety technology to "more consumers more quickly than would be possible through the regulatory process."
The agreement, which the IIHS says could prevent as many as 20 percent of crashes, is voluntary.
The full list of car manufacturers who have committed to automatic brakes by 2022:
- FCA US LLC
- General Motors
- Jaguar Land Rover
- Mitsubishi Motors
- Tesla Motors Inc.
Russ Rader, Senior Vice president, Communications at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
Gabe Nelson, reporter for Automotive News
This story has been updated.