Automakers Can't Decide on When to Make Automatic Braking Mainstream

Autonomous cars may be coming soon, but automobile manufacturers are undecided on when fast features like automatic braking should come out.

Vineeth Joel Patel
    Jun 15, 2017 1:05 PM  PT
Automakers Can't Decide on When to Make Automatic Braking Mainstream
author: Vineeth Joel Patel   

Autonomous cars are the "it" thing now, as the majority of technology companies and automobile manufacturers are chasing after taking the steering wheel out of drivers' hands. Some automakers, like Mercedes-Benz aim to have driverless taxis on the road by 2020. Audi also has plans to release a driverless A9 e-tron by 2020, as well. Other automakers, including BMW and Ford are targeting 2021 as the release date for their driverless cars. 

It's no longer a question of "if" driverless cars are coming, but of "when." And while automakers are all chasing after self-driving vehicles, some are going about it in different ways. Some are waiting until their calculated date to release the entire suite of technology, while others are slowly coming out with the tech. 

According to a report by Automotive News, automakers that are working on slowly coming out with driverless tech can't agree on when to release the entry-level technology. 

Nissan And Toyota Take A Direct Path

As the report points out, Nissan stated that it would make automatic braking standard on roughly 1 million 2018 model year vehicles in the United States. These cars include the Altima, Rogue, Murano, Pathfinder, Rogue Sport and more. Toyota, on the other hand, also has plans to make its automatic emergency braking system standard on its cars that are sold in the U.S. by the end of the year. 

While Nissan and Toyota are striving to get the technology out as soon as possible, other automakers are taking their sweet time. Despite coming under pressure from safety advocates, lawmakers, and regulators, the majority of automakers aren't in a hurry to make automatic braking standard on its vehicles, claims Automotive News

This is a surprise, as automatic braking is an entry-level aspect of driverless technology. Getting a vehicle to stop on its own if the driver fails to act is, at least from my understanding of the tech, much easier than having a car completely drive on its own. 

As Automotive News reports, only 17 percent of vehicles tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety have automatic braking as an offering. And, according to the outlet, the majority of cars that come with the tech are either from Japanese or European automakers. 

What's Taking Everyone So Long?

According to automakers, adding automatic braking to vehicles is an extensive process. As Automotive News points out, automakers claim the system require various sensors and upgrades to the car's software, leading towards an extensive makeover of the entire vehicle. 

The most ironic thing though, is that 20 automakers entered into a voluntary agreement with automotive safety regulators in the U.S. to make automatic braking a standard feature by 2022, reports Automotive News. With automakers targeting 2020 and 2021 as the release date for driverless cars, it's interesting to see them struggling with automatic braking. 

With the way automakers are working on driverless technology, we could see a fully-autonomous car on the road before automatic braking is sold as a standard feature on vehicles.

via: Automotive News