The transformation of evolving safety technologies from the testing stage to fully realized standard features in passenger automobiles takes time.
Seat belts are a prominent case in point. Some younger readers of our Los Angeles personal injury blog might be surprised to note that restraint systems were at one time purely optional equipment in passenger vehicles and a bit of a novelty. Their eventual status as widely recognized safety-promoting devices of the first order and, ultimately, standard equipment, took years.
Same deal for air bags. And a somewhat similar tale for rear-view cameras.
And now — in fact, just last week — a figurative drum roll sounded announcing the arrival of what is being broadly touted as the next great safety advance in American automotive technology.
That would be automatic braking. And, to be accurate, make that the “near” arrival of this vaunted accident-avoidance feature.
Here’s what occurred last Thursday. Federal safety regulators took to microphones to announce that virtually every auto manufacturer will begin installing automatic emergency braking as a standard feature on passenger cars and trucks from September 2022.
Yes, that is more than six years down the road, with some readers likely not being particularly impressed by the amount of time they’re going to have to wait before their behind-the-wheel confidence leaps.
Good things take time, though, and the technology is concededly complex and obviously needs to be in absolute fail-safe mode when it literally begins rolling off of assembly lines across the country.
In fact, its future arrival date was expedited by an estimated three years through negotiations between automakers and safety officials.
In the not-too-distant future, we’ll all be driving vehicles with advanced stopping capabilities.