Automatic braking for cars: Private talks on technology pace

 

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal regulators and the auto industry are taking a more lenient approach than safety advocates like when it comes to phasing in automatic braking systems for passenger cars, according to records of their private negotiations.

The technology automatically applies brakes to prevent or mitigate collisions, rather than waiting for the driver to act. It’s the most important safety technology available today that’s not already required in cars.

Such systems should be standard in all new cars, says the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. But instead of mandating it, the government is trying to work out a voluntary agreement with automakers in hopes of getting it in cars more quickly.

But safety advocates say voluntary agreements aren’t enforceable and are likely to contain weaker standards and longer timelines than if the government had issued rules.

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