Car safety has always been of great concern to most people, so much so that back during the Obama administration, twenty automakers pledged they would equip all their passenger vehicles with automatic emergency braking by September 2022. Well as of date, less that a quarter of those manufacturers seem to be in a position to make that date. So, what’s the problem?
Some are blaming the lack of progress on the part of the remaining automakers on a lack of incentive from the Trump administration. The Trump administrations delay in nominating a director for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is seen by some as demonstrating a lack of urgency in pushing highway safety standards.
According to the NHTSA only about four of twenty automakers equipped at least half of their U.S. models with standard automatic emergency brakes in 2017. These systems automatically apply the brakes when a front collision is about to happen.
Among those so equipped were higher end luxury brands such as Tesla and Mercedes-Benz. Toyota Motor Corp. added the safety devices to 56 percent of it’s cars in 2017 while Honda Motor Co did so with 30 percent of it’s vehicles. American automakers are falling behind with GM fitting 20 percent of it’s vehicles and less than 10 percent of Fords in 2017 having the equipment. All this according to the NHTSA.
Though these seem like unsatisfactory numbers there is still some hope. In January of this year, Ford said it would make automatic brakes standard on half of its cars by 2019 and would still meet its commitment of all cars being equipped by 2022.
Meanwhile, the Trump administration has predicted that the automakers will soon pick up the pace.
It’s difficult to predict what will happen by 2022 but at least we can be sure that the number of safer cars on the road by that time will have increased.