Automatic emergency braking is standard on more cars, but domestic automakers lag

Some of the world’s top automakers have made life-saving technology known as automatic emergency braking (AEB) standard equipment on new vehicles in the U.S., three years early.

The rare voluntary cooperation among 20 automakers was announced in 2015 with a target to make AEB standard on most new cars by Sept.1, 2022. This year, Audi and Volvo join Mercedes-Benz and Tesla in equipping all their light-passenger vehicles with the crash avoidance technology, the IIHS and Consumer Reports announced Tuesday.

In 2019, Toyota, Volkswagen, BMW, Nissan, Honda, Subaru, and Mazda equipped more than eight out of 10 new vehicles with AEB. Domestic automakers are conspicuously absent from the list of early adopters.

“If these automakers continue to lag behind, it will signal the need for mandatory standards to ensure that every new car buyer is able to get this life-saving technology,” David Friedman, vice president of advocacy at Consumer Reports, said in a statement that specifically addressed General Motors, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Mitsubishi, and Jaguar Land Rover.

Ford improved from making AEB standard on just 6% of vehicles last year to 65% this year, largely due to redesigns of popular models such as the Ford Escape and Ford Explorer. The best-selling F-150 pickup truck also has it.