WASHINGTON — The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration this week said it will add automatic emergency braking (AEB) to its five-star safety rating system starting in the 2018 model year. The agency said it wants to put the brakes on rear-end crashes.
"We are adding automatic emergency braking features to the five-star rating system because crash-avoidance technologies can save lives and should be widely accessible," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx in a statement. "AEB can substantially enhance safety, especially with the number of distracted drivers on the road."
The change to the rating system will help car shoppers with new information on vehicle technology.
AEB systems use sensors to detect a forward crash with another vehicle or pedestrian before it occurs. The systems alert the driver to take corrective action or automatically apply the brakes.
In September, NHTSA and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety announced that 10 major automakers have committed to making AEB a standard feature on all new vehicles.
Volvo noted it already has approximately 250,000 vehicles on U.S. roads with forward-collision warning and automatic emergency braking.
Volvo introduced low-speed automatic emergency braking as standard on the 2009 XC60, and the technology became standard in all Volvos by 2014.
AEB is also available on the 2016 Hyundai Sonata.
A recent report from the IIHS shows that automatic emergency braking technology can cut insurance injury claims by as much as 35 percent.
NHTSA said rear-end crashes account for about 1.7 million crashes annually, causing 1,000 deaths and 700,000 injuries.
Edmunds says: The five-star safety ratings are posted on the window stickers that are required to be displayed on all new vehicles. This upcoming addition to the sticker is designed to help safety-minded car shoppers.