Ford Motor Co. announced on Thursday that it would make the automatic emergency brakes a standard feature on two of its key models for 2019. This is an effort by the U.S. automaker to narrow the gap with its rivals in offering this new technology that is designed to help avoid collisions.
Ford is going to fit the new brakes in its 2019 redesigned Edge midsize crossover and its 2019 new Ranger midsize pickup.
The brakes are now part of a group of standard features for safety on the Edge, said Ford, including technology that helps to detect objects as well as pedestrians and help prevent collisions by braking and steering automatically for drivers.
The Edge, which will be on sale starting this summer, is offering new safety features that are optional including a cruise control system with sophisticated options, and an automatic steering assist that helps to avoid possible crashes.
In a December update, the United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced that four out of 20 automakers during 2017 equipped a minimum of 50% of their models in the U.S. with automatic emergency brakes. Luxury brands had the highest installation rates in 2017 in vehicles made by Mercedes-Benz and Tesla.
Among the companies that are mass-market, Toyota fitted the brakes in 56% of its fleet for 2017, in comparison to only 30% at Honda Motor, 20% at General Motors and not even 10% by Ford Motor.
In all, 20 automakers have entered an agreement to equip nearly all of their latest passenger vehicle lineups with the automatic emergency brakes before September of 2022, says the NHTSA.
Raj Nair, the president of North American operations at Ford, said during an interview that the automaker is planning to be much more aggressive in the standardizing of features that assist the driver. He would not say when Ford was planning to makes the automatic emergency brakes a standard features on all its models that are built for the U.S.
Automakers are not only using the latest technology to develop a new lineup of electric vehicles, but have put to use the technology advances such as the AEB systems that make it much safer to drive on roads across the United States. No word has been released if the carmakers will install the new brakes for vehicles that are made for use outside the U.S.