WASHINGTON — Automatic emergency braking will become a standard feature on nearly all light-duty vehicles by 2022, according to a new industry-wide agreement announced on Thursday.
Such systems help to prevent crashes or reduce their severity by applying the brakes for the driver.
Some automakers pitch them as "an extra foot on the brake when you drive."
The safety feature is rolling out already on more mainstream vehicles.
Six Hyundai models are available today with automatic emergency braking (AEB) as optional equipment: the 2017 Hyundai Elantra, 2017 Santa Fe, 2017 Santa Fe Sport, 2016 Genesis, 2016 Sonata and 2016 Tucson.
Coming this summer to Hyundai dealerships, the Genesis G90 sedan will feature standard AEB. Later in 2016, additional 2017 model-year Hyundai vehicles will include AEB as available equipment, the automaker said.
AEB technology is currently available on nearly all Subaru models as optional equipment. The 2016 Subaru Crosstrek, Forester, Impreza, Legacy, Outback and WRX are all available with EyeSight Driver Assist Technology.
Volvo has had standard automatic emergency braking on its vehicles since 2014, with forward collision warning becoming standard on all new Volvos by 2018, well ahead of the agreement's schedule, the automaker said.
Automakers committing to standard automatic emergency braking are Audi, BMW, Fiat-Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar Land Rover, Kia, Maserati, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Porsche, Subaru, Tesla, Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo.
"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," NHTSA said.
The feature can cut rear-end crashes by as much as 40 percent, according to a recent IIHS study.
By speeding up the rollout of the technology, federal safety regulators and the IIHS estimated that it will prevent 28,000 crashes and 12,000 injuries.
Edmunds says: There's no need for car shoppers to wait for this technology, since it's becoming available on a wide range of vehicles.