Federal regulators have proposed adding automatic emergency braking systems as a recommendation in its auto safety ratings in an effort to encourage buyers to look for the feature and automakers to include it in more models.
While the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration won't require the systems for all cars, it plans to add crash imminent braking and dynamic brake support as recommended safety features, as first reported by the Detroit News.
Automatic brakes slow or stop a vehicle when a crash is imminent but the driver fails to respond. The difference between the two systems is that crash imminent braking works the brakes when the driver is about to crash, while dynamic brake support boosts application of the brakes when the driver isn't pressing hard enough.
NHTSA's recommendations won't officially change until a 60-day public comment period has passed and the agency has responded to the comments.
"Today marks an enormous leap in the evolution of auto safety by encouraging adoption of new technologies to keep drivers and their passengers safe on our roads," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. "Making it very clear that the technology will be one of the criteria on which auto manufacturers are graded is a pretty big step. They all want to be a five-star company."