In the near future, your car will brake for you. According to The Verge, a new deal between the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), and 20 car makers will make automatic emergency braking—which employs sensors to apply the brakes when a crash is imminent—standard in all new cars by September 2022.
The automakers involved in the deal, including Toyota, General Motors, Ford, and BMW, encompass 99 percent of the U.S. car market. That means that, by 2022, virtually every new car sold in America will include the safety feature. The IIHS estimates that adhering to the agreement could prevent 28,000 crashes and 12,000 injuries over the course of three years.
Automatic emergency braking systems incorporate radar, lasers, and cameras to keep you from rear-ending another car in traffic or absentmindedly running down someone in a crosswalk. The sensors evaluate whether the vehicle is in danger of striking another car, a pedestrian, or another object. First, drivers get a warning that they should brake, and if they don’t respond, the car will brake for them—or increase the amount of force a driver exerts on the brakes if they don’t respond with enough pressure to prevent a crash.
It’s just an agreement, not a legislative rule, so the government isn’t making it illegal to sell a car without these features. But considering how many car manufacturers have pledged to make the braking systems a priority, it’ll probably be hard to find a new car without them in the mid-2020s.
[h/t The Verge]