Nissan will make a front collision prevention system with automatic emergency braking standard on seven of its best-selling models for 2018. The key safety aid will be standard on the 2018 Rogue and Rogue Sport, Altima, Murano, Leaf, Pathfinder, Maxima and Sentra except for stick-shift cars and NISMO performance versions. Together, they account for about two-thirds of Nissan's U.S. sales.
Nissan estimates that the move will double its sales of vehicles with automatic braking and put a combined million cars with the technology on U.S. roads in the 2018 model year, which makes driving a bit safer for all of us.
Such camera or radar systems (Nissan's is radar-based) warn of an impending crash and apply the brakes automatically if the driver does not react, avoiding a collision at lower speeds or mitigating its severity at higher speeds.
Nissan's action helps accelerate the adoption of automatic emergency braking years ahead of the 2022 deadline to make such systems standard. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and 20 automakers and brands agreed to the timeline last year. NHTSA data has shown that a third of police-reported crashes involve a rear-end crash, and a report last year estimated that more than 80 percent of the 1,700 deaths and half-million injuries a year in rear-end crashes could be avoided or mitigated if all vehicles had automatic emergency braking systems.
Toyota has made this type of system standard across most of its vehicles for 2018, but many other automakers still limit its availability to higher trims, their more expensive models or to costly packages bundled with various nonsafety features.
"The big news here is that we're making AEB standard across all grades of our best-selling models," said Michael Bunce, Nissan's U.S. vice president for product planning, in a statement. "This increased AEB availability is part of our ongoing commitment to help reduce fatalities."