The inevitable march toward the driverless car continues. It's still off in the distance, a speck on the horizon, but that speck is getting larger with each flip of your calendar's pages. There are some aspects of the autonomous driving realm that are already a part of the automotive landscape. One of them will become a whole lot more prevalent in the next few years.
A group of 20 automakers have banded together to bring autonomous braking systems to all of their vehicles. The plan is to make the tech a standard feature on all new vehicles by September 1, 2022. The list of automakers who are participating in this endeavor includes pretty much every company currently selling a light-duty vehicle in the United States. According to The Car Connection, it's Audi, BMW, Fiat-Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar, Kia, Land Rover, Maserati, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Porsche, Subaru, Tesla, Toyota, Volkswagen, and Volvo.
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This move is sure to cut down on the number of accidents in any given year. Per the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), automated braking systems should prevent more than 9,000 accidents and 4,000 injuries associated with those accidents annually. Beyond the drop in accidents, the addition of standard automatic braking should also lead to a reduction in the cost of automotive insurance. That is, at least, if you're one of the folks buying a new 2022 model year vehicle fitted with it. If you drive a car that doesn't have such a system by then, you could see your insurance premium rise a bit.
Regardless, it's a great move for new car safety. This is a fine example of technology making the roads safer.