NHTSA's New Chief Considers Auto-Brake Systems

David Friedman has been appointed as the new deputy administrator for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and has considered making auto-brake systems in cars a mandatory feature. Friedman has previously pushed for stricter fuel economy standards and lower oil consumption. Automatic braking systems use cameras and radar systems to detect oncoming vehicles, as well as other objects and pedestrians, and apply the brakes in the event the driver doesn't. Many manufacturers are using these systems, and Volvo and Mercedes-Benz in particular have earned praise from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The institute reported that owners of Volvo sedans have been filing claims 16 percent less often when equipped with the automatic braking system, and drivers of the XC60 have filed claims 15 percent less often than those without this feature. For the 2011 model year, the NHTSA mandated that all manufacturers equip their vehicles with electronic stability control, and it is believed that automatic braking may follow the same path. Source: Automotive News