Imagine, if you will, a future where cars take care of the braking themselves thanks to onboard computer systems, while you are making your treacherous workday commute slogging down an interstate with bumper-to-bumper traffic. That daydream is about to become reality, thanks to an agreement by 10 of the major automakers.
The agreement for mandatory automatic emergency braking (AEB) was brokered by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
“We are entering a new era of vehicle safety, focused on preventing crashes from ever occurring, rather than just protecting occupants when crashes happen. But if technologies such as automatic emergency braking are only available as options or on the most expensive models, too few Americans will see the benefits of this new era. These 10 companies are committing to making AEB available to all new-car buyers,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.¹
Accident Avoidance the Key to Technology
This technology is being developed to prevent car crashes first and foremost, IIHS officials say. AEB would essentially be designed with a series of computerized controls – like sensors, cameras, radar, and/or lasers – to head off accidents encountered, especially rear-end collisions. Here’s a list of key auto manufacturers that have committed to working with the IIHS and NHTSA to incorporate AEB as a standard feature in their vehicles:
- Ford Motors
- General Motors
The NHTSA and IIHS are encouraging all other vehicle manufactures to join the new AEB technology development, as it may prove to become the industry standard all manufacturers are held to.
Future Liability of Automatic Emergency Braking Technology
So, who’s to blame let’ say if in a few years your driving down the road and you are careened into by another self-driving vehicle fitted with this new fangled AEB technology. And, let’s just say the driver was preoccupied with watching an onboard movie, when the AEB technology failed.
An aggressive personal injury attorney would look at this from several angles:
- First of all, we’d look at possible negligence on the part of the driver for not staying alert.
- Then it’s almost certain there would be damages sought from the auto manufacture for making a defective vehicle, part, or device.
- But, that’s just the tip of the iceberg, as they say – there’s also possible compensation damages for any lost wages; actual damages for injuries suffered, like medical costs; special damages for any additional repairs needed; and special damages that are intended to punish the defendant if the infraction was particularly egregious, like for instance if the driver was impaired at the time of the accident.
Contact a Pasadena Personal Injury Attorney at the Law Offices of Pius Joseph
Were you injured in an auto accident with another vehicle that has integrated with AEB technology, contact a Pasadena Personal Injury Attorney at the Law Offices of Pius Joseph by calling (626) 397-1050 or by emailing us via the contact form on this page.
- “U.S. DOT and IIHS announce historic commitment from 10 automakers to include automatic emergency braking on all new vehicles” published in Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Highway Loss Data Institute, September 2015.