Rear-end collisions may someday be a thing of the past. This would be very good news. In November 2012, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that 28% of all crashes are rear-end collisions. Many thousands of lives could be saved and serious injuries prevented if technology could be successfully implemented to stop vehicles before the crash occurred.
Today auto manufactures are coming together to try and do exactly that. So far, a total of ten auto manufactures, BMW, Ford, General Motors, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Tesla, Toyota, Volkswagen (as well as its Audi brand) and Volvo, have made a commitment to include emergency braking systems on all of their vehicles. These emergency braking systems have sensors to detect potential collisions ahead of the vehicle and automatically engage the brakes.
Automatic emergency braking systems have only been on the market for a limited amount of time, but research shows that they could solve the rear-end collision problem. Naturally, some auto companies are hesitant because of the potential cost of the new equipment and research this project will require. However, in the future it may become law that all auto manufactures must install these systems on new cars, just as they have done with shoulder harnesses, on seat belts, air bags, and other safety features we are now used to in cars and trucks.