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Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Most car companies are making good on a voluntary commitment to equip all of their vehicles with automatic emergency braking technology, safety officials say.

Why it matters: AEB is one of the most effective safety features since the seat belt — reducing crashes by up to 43% in one study — which is why the industry decided consumers would benefit faster if compliance were voluntary rather than mandated.

  • 20 carmakers representing 99% of the market agreed in 2016 to make the technology standard on all cars by 2022 and to provide the government with annual progress reports.
  • IIHS estimates the commitment will prevent 28,000 crashes and 12,000 injuries by 2025.

How it works: Often paired with a forward collision warning — a flashing alert or chime — AEB senses a potential collision with a vehicle ahead and applies the brakes if the driver doesn't react in time.

The big picture: About half of all 2018 models were produced with emergency braking systems, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the IIHS.

  • Tesla led the industry, with 100% of its vehicles equipped with AEB.
  • Luxury carmakers Mercedes-Benz (96%), Volvo (93%) and Audi (87%) were also near the top.
  • By sheer numbers, Toyota and Lexus produced the most vehicles with AEB — 2.2 million (90%).
  • Ford, Mitsubishi and Porsche equipped fewer than 10% of their 2018 models with AEB.
"When it comes to being on track for the 2022 targets, most manufacturers are ahead of the curve, but far too many still need to kick their efforts into gear."
David Friedman, VP of advocacy, Consumer Reports

Ford is quickly adding the technology, a spokesman noted. Many of its 2018 cars that lacked AEB have been discontinued, while 2019 models like the F-150, Edge, Ranger and Fusion now include it as part of Ford's Co-Pilot 360 assisted-driving system.

  • What's next: AEB will be standard on 91% of Ford vehicles in North America by 2020, the company says.

Go deeper

3 hours ago - World

Scoop: Iran preparing to enrich weapons-grade uranium, Israel warns U.S.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi holds a press conference. Photo: Presidency of Iran handout via Getty

Israel has shared intelligence over the past two weeks with the U.S. and several European allies suggesting that Iran is taking technical steps to prepare to enrich uranium to 90% purity — the level needed to produce a nuclear weapon, two U.S. sources briefed on the issue tell me.

Why it matters: Enriching to 90% would bring Iran closer than ever to the nuclear threshold. The Israeli warnings come as nuclear talks resume in Vienna, with Iran returning to the negotiating table on Monday after a five-month hiatus.

Biden: Fight against Omicron won't include "shutdowns or lockdowns"

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden on Monday said that the new coronavirus variant, Omicron, is "a cause for concern, not a cause for panic."

Driving the news: Biden said later this week the administration will be releasing a strategy on how "we're going to fight COVID this winter. Not with shutdowns or lockdowns, but with more widespread vaccinations, boosters, testing and more."

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: WHO says Omicron poses "very high" risk — Fauci says Omicron variant will "inevitably" be found in U.S. — U.S. restricts air travel from 8 countries over Omicron concerns.
  2. Politics: Biden says fight against Omicron won't include "shutdowns or lockdowns."
  3. States: New York declares state of emergency amid concerns over Omicron.
  4. World: Omicron adds urgency to vaccinating worldWHO warns against travel bans on southern African countries — First North American Omicron cases identified in Canada.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.

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