Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW) and Daimler AG are among automakers that are improving and accelerating the use of automatic brakes as part of efforts to reduce frontal collisions, said the US Highway Insurance Institute (IIHS).
Daimler's BMW 5-Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class are the two most reliable models that use sensors, cameras and lasers to predict possible collisions and slow down the car. The systems are the focus of US regulators trying to reduce highway accidents that took 33,561 lives in 2012.
What used to be an extra for which consumers had to pay extra is now becoming standard, including in some models of Mercedes-Benz, Volvo AB and Acura. Google Inc. also uses technology in its autonomous vehicles.
The Highway Safety Insurance Institute is trying to speed up the introduction of this technology, and in September began ranking cars with a similar system.
Frontal impact prevention systems sense when a car gets too close to the one in front of it. If the distance decreases too fast, drivers receive an audio or visual warning.
More than 20% of cars in the United States since 2014 offer safety systems with automatic brakes, which are usually optional.