Though it got off to a bit of a slow start in terms of adding automatic emergency braking (AEB) to its models, Ford turned things around pretty quickly and actually wound up fulfilling its voluntary pledge to equip the vast majority of its U.S. light-duty vehicles with that feature early – a full two years ahead of schedule, in fact. Additionally, Ford’s automatic emergency braking feature outperformed its rivals in nighttime conditions in a recent test conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Now, Ford is among a group of 20 automakers that have fulfilled their pledge to IIHS in regards to AEB installation, too.
At the behest of the IIHS back in 2016, those companies pledged to install AEB on more than 95 percent of the light vehicles they produced between September 1st, 2022, and Aug. 31st, 2023, a target that Ford hit back in 2021. However, it has since been joined by most of its peers in that regard, a list that includes General Motors, Jaguar Land Rover, Maserati, Porsche, Kia, Audi, BMW, Honda/Acura, Hyundai/Genesis, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi, Nissan/Infiniti, Stellantis, Subaru, Tesla, Toyota/Lexus, Volkswagen, and Volvo.
Back in May, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) revealed a new proposed rule that would require all new passenger vehicles, trucks, and buses with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 10,000 pounds or less to have AEB capable of braking to fully avoid a crash with another vehicle at up to 50 mph, with a four-year grace period from the date the eventual rule is adopted. If the regulation is adopted in its present form, vehicles will also have to be able to stop for pedestrians from speeds up to 40 mph, and the pedestrian detection will have to work in dark conditions – a requirement for which IIHS had petitioned.
“The successful completion of this milestone shows what can be achieved when automakers and safety advocates work together toward our common goal of eliminating as many crashes as possible,” said IIHS President David Harkey. “Thanks to this cooperation, automakers made this safety feature standard equipment years before there was a legal mandate requiring them to do so. Now that a regulation is on the horizon, the progress that we’ve made will be set in stone and expanded on to generate even bigger benefits.”