NHTSA to factor automatic braking into star rating system

Earlier today, the Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx revealed that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will start factoring automatic braking into its star rating system, giving points for having a technology that is believed to be a boon to driver safety. In addition, the regulator will also begin to list vehicles on its website that offer these types of safety technologies, making it easier for consumers to select cars with these additional safety features. These measures will help encourage the further development of such technologies.

The information was provided today in Washington at a meeting amongst automotive engineers, according to Bloomberg. Said Foxx, the NHTSA begin looking at whether automatic braking is offered on vehicles, factoring that in to the score — also looked at are things like side and front crash results, and rollover data.

Automatic braking is seen as a beneficial safety feature for vehicles; says the Transportation Department, since the 1960s the development and use of vehicular safety features has resulted in 613,501 lives being saved. It went on to point out that 30-percent of crashes reported to the police were due to rear collisions, and in many of those cases the drivers didn't hit the brake fast enough, or failed to brake entirely.

The development of automatic technologies — safety features that kick in and work to keep drivers safe in situations where they're unlikely to react properly on their own — will deal with the issue of driver error, and potentially serve to increase the safety for everyone on the road.

SOURCE: BusinessWeek