A new study from the IIHS published Tuesday showed automatic emergency braking and forward collision warning drastically reduce crashes in General Motors vehicles. Yet, it’s rather expensive to equip new GM cars, trucks and SUVs with the technology.
According to the study, GM vehicles equipped with automatic emergency braking and forward collision warning saw a 43 percent reduction in front-to-rear crashes of all severities. Front-to-rear crashes with injuries also dropped by a very significant 64 percent. The independent safety body looked at GM vehicles from the Chevrolet, Buick and GMC brands from the 2013-2015 model years to conduct the research.
The IIHS obtained the vehicles VINs and then collected crash data from 23 states’ police departments for the vehicles equipped with the technology, and ones that did not.
GM vehicles equipped with just forward collision warning still saw a dip in crashes, too. In all, the warning system reduced all front-to-rear crashes by 17 percent, and the same crashes with injuries dropped by 30 percent.
GM is increasingly isolated when it comes to standardizing active safety technology. A prime example is the 2019 Chevrolet Blazer, which goes on sale in January. The mid-size crossover SUV does not include the technology as standard. In fact, it’s not even offered on mid-level trims.
Buyers will need to select the Blazer Premier trim to even unlock the availability. The Premier model starts at $43,895 but does not include active safety features as standard equipment. Instead, a buyer will then need to select the Driver Confidence II Package, which costs an extra $2,165. That puts the Blazer’s price tag at $46,060 for a front-wheel drive model and $48,960 for AWD models to gain automatic emergency braking.
Rival Ford will include automatic emergency braking on all vehicles as standard equipment as part of its Co-Pilot 360 active safety tech bundle. Critically, it will be standard on the 2019 Ford Edge, one of the Blazer’s main rivals. GM in 2016 announced support to make automatic emergency braking a standard feature by 2022.