Last week, NHTSA and IIHS announced that 20 auto manufacturers and three agencies had agreed to include automatic emergency braking (AEB) as standard equipment by 2022. Toyota was one of those 20 companies, but this week they upped the AEB ante: Nearly every Toyota and Lexus model and trim level will have standard AEB by 2017. That’s next year.
Many models already offer AEB as part of the Lexus Safety System+ and Toyota Safety Sense packages, but consumers have had to pay extra for these options (unless they leased a Toyota Mirai hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle; it already has AEB as standard equipment.) By the end of next year, all but the Lexus GS, Toyota 4Runner and Toyota 86 — which was developed together with Subaru — will have AEB installed at no extra cost. (Interestingly, the new Prius Prime unveiled at the New York International Auto Show has Safety Sense as an option rather than standard equipment.)
The AEB function is part of Toyota’s safety suites, which will be included in 25 Lexus and Toyota models. Both makes have a precollision system that detects the possibility of collision with the car ahead and engages the brakes if the driver doesn’t react quickly enough, as well as lane departure alerts and automatic high beams.
Toyota’s move leapfrogs ahead of Honda making its Honda Sensing system, which includes AEB tech, available as a flat $1,000 option on every Civic Sedan.