NHTSA Wants To Curb Rear-End Collisions, Proposes Two Emergency Braking Systems

Upcoming cars from Audi, BMW, and others can park themselves and even come pick you up, so Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx wasn’t asking for anything unreasonable when he announced that new cars should be able to help you prevent rear-end collisions.

“Today marks an enormous leap in the evolution of auto safety by encouraging adoption of new technologies to keep drivers and their passengers safe on our roads,” said Foxx in a statement. “I want this Department, the entire automotive industry, and other innovators to keep raising the bar on safety like we are doing now.”

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BMW demonstrating its vehicle automation and 360-degree collision avoidance systems. Image credit (all article images): BMW

The two technologies Foxx is recommending are known as crash imminent braking (CIB) and dynamic brake support (DBS). The two technologies are also referred to as automatic emergency braking (AEB). The CIB system employs sensors at the front of the car, which determine that a crash is imminent and that the driver hasn’t braked, at which point the CIB employs the brakes. The DBS system kicks in when a driver is braking, but not braking hard enough to avoid a crash.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a full third of police-reported crashes in 2013 were rear-end collisions. In some cases, the driver never braked at all, but in others, the driver simply wasn’t braking hard enough to prevent the crash. Cars that include the new technologies are expected to reduce the damage from these kinds of crashes – and even avoid many of them altogether.