DOT, IIHS and 20 automakers commit to AEB standard on new vehicles

McLEAN, Va. — The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety announced today a historic commitment by 20 automakers representing more than 99 percent of the U.S. auto market to make automatic emergency braking a standard feature on virtually all new cars no later than NHTSA’s 2022 reporting year, which begins Sept. 1, 2022.

Automakers making the commitment are Audi, BMW, FCA US LLC, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar Land Rover, Kia, Maserati, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi Motors, Nissan, Porsche, Subaru, Tesla Motors Inc., Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo Car USA. The unprecedented commitment means that this important safety technology will be available to more consumers more quickly than would be possible through the regulatory process.

AEB systems help prevent crashes or reduce their severity by applying the brakes for the driver. The systems use on-vehicle sensors such as radar, cameras or lasers to detect an imminent crash, warn the driver and apply the brakes if the driver does not take sufficient action quickly enough.

NHTSA estimates that the agreement will make AEB standard on new cars three years faster than could be achieved through the formal regulatory process. During those three years, according to IIHS estimates, the commitment will prevent 28,000 crashes and 12,000 injuries.

“It’s an exciting time for vehicle safety. By making automatic emergency braking systems standard equipment on their vehicles, these 20 automakers will help prevent crashes and save lives,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “It’s a win for safety and a win for consumers.”

Based on mounting evidence that AEB effectively reduced crashes and injuries in the United States and around the world, NHTSA and IIHS issued a challenge to the industry in September 2015 to encourage automakers to voluntarily make AEB a standard feature. A series of meetings followed to establish details of the commitment.

“IIHS member companies strongly support the adoption of effective safety technologies,” said IIHS Board Chairman and CEO of American Family Insurance, Jack Salzwedel. “Deploying AEB on a wide scale will allow us to further evaluate the technology’s effectiveness and its impact on insurance losses, so that more insurers can explore offering discounts or lower premiums to consumers who choose AEB-equipped vehicles.”

“We’re getting these safety systems into vehicles much faster than what would have been otherwise possible,” said NHTSA Administrator, Dr. Mark Rosekind. “A commitment of this magnitude is unprecedented, and it will bring more safety to more Americans sooner.”

“The benefits of this commitment are far reaching, from injuries and deaths averted to the recovery of productivity that would otherwise be lost in traffic jams caused by the crashes prevented,” said IIHS Executive Vice President and Chief Research Officer David Zuby. “It also assures that all Americans will benefit from this technology.”

“With roadway fatalities on the rise, the commitment made today has the potential to save more lives than almost anything else we can accomplish in the next six years,” said Deborah A.P. Hersman, president and CEO of the National Safety Council, who attended today’s announcement. “Including all models in the agreement ensures that safety isn’t for just those who can afford it.”

NHTSA and IIHS also announced that Consumer Reports will assist in monitoring automaker progress toward meeting the AEB commitment. Jake Fisher, Director of Auto Testing for Consumer Reports, said, “We have been calling on automakers to make automatic emergency braking standard in all new vehicles, and today is an important step toward reaching that goal. This proven technology is among the most promising safety advances we’ve seen since electronic stability control almost two decades ago. We look forward to working with NHTSA and IIHS to help put this plan into action and hold automakers accountable for their commitments.”

Today’s commitment will make AEB standard on virtually all light-duty cars and trucks with a gross vehicle weight of 8,500 pounds or less beginning no later than Sept. 1, 2022. AEB will be standard on virtually all trucks with a gross vehicle weight between 8,501 pounds and 10,000 pounds beginning no later than Sept. 1, 2025.

As NHTSA continues its regulatory work in this area, NHTSA will track the progress industry is making towards its commitment.

The commitment takes into account the evolution of AEB technology. It requires a level of functionality that is in line with research and crash data demonstrating that such systems are substantially reducing crashes, but does not stand in the way of improved capabilities that are just beginning to emerge. The performance measures are based on real world data showing that vehicles with this level of capability are avoiding crashes.

To encourage further development of AEB technology, NHTSA will accelerate its research on more advanced AEB applications, including systems that reduce the risk of collisions with pedestrians. In December, NHTSA announced plans to rate AEB systems and other advanced technologies under its 5-Star Safety Ratings beginning in model year 2018.


Fact sheet:
Auto Industry Commitment to IIHS and NHTSA on Automatic Emergency Braking

Participating manufacturers: Audi, BMW, FCA US LLC, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar Land Rover, Kia, Maserati, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi Motors, Nissan, Porsche, Subaru, Tesla Motors Inc., Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo Car USA — representing more than 99 percent of the U.S. new-car market.

Details of the commitment: Participating automakers commit to make AEB standard on virtually all light-duty cars and trucks with a gross vehicle weight of 8,500 pounds or less no later than Sept. 1, 2022, and on virtually all trucks with a gross vehicle weight between 8,501 pounds and 10,000 pounds no later than Sept. 1, 2025.

What is AEB? Automatic emergency braking helps prevent crashes or reduce their severity by applying a vehicle’s brakes automatically. The systems use on-board sensors such as radar, cameras or lasers to detect an imminent crash, warn the driver, and apply the brakes or increase braking effort if the driver does not take sufficient action.

Performance requirements: Participating manufacturers will ensure vehicles have both a forward collision warning system that meets a subset of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s current 5-Star Safety Ratings program requirements on the timing of driver alerts and an automatic braking system that earns at least an advanced rating in the current Insurance Institute for Highway Safety front crash prevention track tests. The baseline performance measures are a speed reduction of at least 10 mph in either the IIHS 12 or 25 mph tests, or a speed reduction of 5 mph in both of the tests.

Safety benefits: IIHS research shows that AEB systems meeting the commitment would reduce rear-end crashes by 40 percent. IIHS estimates that by 2025 — the earliest NHTSA believes it could realistically implement a regulatory requirement for AEB — the commitment will prevent 28,000 crashes and 12,000 injuries.

Monitoring progress: IIHS and NHTSA will monitor automakers’ progress toward the commitment and provide annual updates on that progress. Commitment letters from each of the manufacturers, along with annual submissions on their progress, will be posted at www.regulations.gov under docket number NHTSA-2015-0101.

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Subaru, Mazda keep pace with lux brands in Consumer Reports’ survey


Audi, Subaru, Lexus, Porsche, BMW lead the pack

YONKERS, NY— Consumers don’t always have to spend top dollar to get a great car. The Consumer Reports 2016 Brand Report Card reveals mainstream brands like Subaru and Mazda can often deliver as much quality as more opulent luxury brands.

The highest overall brand scores in Consumer Reports’ annual indicator of which brands make the best cars went to Audi (80) and Subaru (78). Consumer Reports currently Recommends 100 percent of each brand’s models that it has tested. Luxury brands Lexus (76), Porsche (76), and BMW (76) rounded out the top five in CR’s rankings.

Mazda finished just outside the lead pack in sixth place, with GM’s premium brand Buick in seventh place. Consumer Reports is currently Recommending 100 percent of the Mazda models and 80 percent of the Buick models it has tested.

“It’s not enough to make cars that drive and handle well. Consumers are best served when those vehicles are also highly reliable and safe,” said Jake Fisher, Consumer Reports director of automotive testing.

In total, 30 brands were included in CR’s 2016 Brand Report Card. To determine which marques consistently deliver cars that serve consumers well, Consumer Reports tabulated the overall score, road test score, and predicted reliability results for each tested model of a brand. Then CR’s auto experts averaged those scores at the brand level as an indicator of which brands make the best cars.

CR’s rankings are based only on vehicles that are currently for sale on the market and that the organization has tested at its 327-acre Automotive Test Center in Connecticut. Audi and VW diesel vehicles that have been pulled from dealerships—following their recall and stop-sale last year for cheating on EPA emissions tests—are not included in the scoring. The rankings do not account for corporate practices or brand perceptions, and despite Audi’s score, Consumer Reports strongly believes that Volkswagen AG, the maker of VW and Audi vehicles, should be held accountable for manipulating emissions testing with its vehicles.

Scores for all 30 brands included in the Consumer Reports 2016 Brand Report Cards are available in the Annual Auto issue of Consumer Reports or by visiting the Consumer Reports 2016 Autos Spotlight on ConsumerReports.org.

Along with the Korean brand Kia (9th place), the largest Japanese brands rounded out the top 10. Toyota’s strong reliability score was enough to balance its middling road test score and secure eighth place.  Honda finished in the 10th spot with Consumer Reports Recommending 88 percent of its tested models.

Other domestic brands didn’t fare as well as Buick. Ford, Lincoln, and Chevrolet finished mid-pack and were largely bogged down by their inconsistent reliability scores. All Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) brands finished in the bottom third of the rankings, with Fiat coming in last.

This is the ninth consecutive year Consumer Reports has compiled and published its Car Brand Report Card. However, changes in the scoring methodology preclude comparing results from the 2016 report to information from any of the previous years.

This year, Consumer Reports does not have Brand Report Cards for Alfa Romeo, Jaguar, Maserati, Ram, Smart, and Tesla, because the organization has fewer than two currently tested models from those makes. Ratings on individual models from those brands are available at ConsumerReports.org

The complete 2016 Brand Report Card is available in the Annual Auto Issue of Consumer Reports and online at ConsumerReports.org.  Updated daily, ConsumerReports.org is the go-to website for the latest auto reviews, product news, blogs on breaking news and car buying information.

 

Auto industry drives most intimate brand relationships

The four highest ranking automotive brands are: BMW, Toyota, Harley-Davidson and GMC.

NEW YORK — Four out of the top 10 most intimate brands are in the automotive industry, according to MBLM’s Brand Intimacy 2015 Report, which examines ultimate brand relationships.

“Automotive is the highest ranking industry across all three of our markets, the U.S., Mexico and the UAE. That’s pretty suggestive of the strong bonds people have with their cars and the ability of this category to connect with consumers,” stated Mario Natarelli, MBLM’s managing partner. “Car brands are more than one of our most significant purchases. They represent our sensibilities and our status in life. As important as these values are to consumers, fulfillment of the brand (how well it exceeds expectations, delivers superior service, quality and efficacy) remains a top factor. Recent experiences by brands like Volkswagen will likely have profound effects on the bonds with their consumers.”

In the auto industry, the top 10 is rounded out by:

  • Jeep
  • Chevrolet
  • Ford
  • Mercedes-Benz
  • Chrysler
  • Honda

“With all the dramatic evolution in this category enhanced by technology and from trends like car sharing and autonomous driving, intimate brands will win in the long term,” added Natarelli.

This year’s report contains one of the most comprehensive rankings of brands based on emotion, analyzing the responses of 6,000 consumers and 52,000 brand evaluations across nine industries in the U.S., Mexico and UAE. MBLM’s reports and interactive Brand Ranking Tool showcase the performance of almost 400 brands, revealing the characteristics and intensity of the consumer bonds.

BMW to show off the face of the future car’s interior at CES

P90206946_lowRes_bmw-group--ces-2016-At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES, 6 to 9 January 2016) in Las Vegas, the BMW Group is presenting a Vision Car to demonstrate what the interior and the user interface of the future might look like. The rapid advance of networking between driver, vehicle and environment is becoming increasingly intensive and is facilitating new services. One example of new technologies in seamlessly networked vehicles is provided by AirTouch. This feature empowers intuitive control of entertainment, navigation and communication functions using simple gestures made with a flat hand. AirTouch allows the display in a vehicle to be operated like a touchscreen without actually having to make contact with the surface. Sensors record the hand movements in the area between the central console and the interior mirror. This enables drivers or passengers to change the focus on the surface of the large panorama display. Simple confirmation selects the relevant menu item or activates an icon.

 

Sensors on the instrument dashboard permit 3D control. 


One year ago, BMW already presented the new gesture control at the CES. This enables simple movements of a finger to carry out actions such as adjusting the loudness or accepting phone calls. Meanwhile, this technology is available as BMW Gesture Control in the new BMW 7 Series. AirTouch is now taking another big leap forward. Sensors are installed in the area of the instrument dashboard which respond to hand movements here and therefore permit three-dimensional control. A movement of the hand or a gesture activates the surfaces on the large panorama display.

 

AirTouch has another option to confirm an action. A concealed AirTouch button is located on the rim of the steering wheel. It is on the left and easy to reach with the thumb, and it lights up when a menu or icon can be activated. One tap is sufficient to activate the desired program or change a setting. The passenger also has a button like this positioned on the side sill in the door area. Passengers are therefore able to use one hand to navigate through the menu and the other hand to confirm inputs very quickly.

 

The intelligent AirTouch menu control reduces the number of steps needed to make a selection. For example, when activating the phone pad, the system automatically brings up contacts or call lists to the top select level so that a call can be made with just one further action. AirTouch recognises which selection and control steps are required next and displays them in advance. This allows the driver to focus all their concentration on the road ahead or offers additional convenient control options when the vehicle is travelling in highly automated mode.

BMW, Toyota in top 10 of brand loyalty survey

 

MBLM_BrandIntimacy_2015_PR_Asset_v2

 

NEW YORK — Top ranked intimate brands outperform major financial indices in profit growth and revenue growth over the past 10 years, according to MBLM’s Brand Intimacy 2015 Report, which examines ultimate brand relationships.

From 2005 to 2014, intimate brands enjoy an average of five percent more revenue growth and 11 percent profit growth over the S&P 500. That translates to an average of $33 billion per year in average revenue for the top brands and more than $9 billion in average annual profit. Brand Intimacy delivers comparable performance to the Fortune 500 as well.

Examining this performance a little deeper, brands that achieve the highest levels of intimacy also enjoy greater price resilience. Consumers of these brands are five times more willing to pay 20 percent more.

This year’s report contains one of the most comprehensive rankings of brands based on emotion, analyzing the responses of 6,000 consumers and 52,000 brand evaluations across nine industries in the U.S., Mexico and UAE. MBLM’s reports and interactive Brand Ranking Tool showcase the performance of almost 400 brands, revealing the characteristics and intensity of the consumer bonds.

“Brand intimacy is a new benchmark for our times and the marketing challenges of today. This year’s findings confirm that the way to think about, build and measure brands can lead to untapped business potential,” stated Mario Natarelli, MBLM’s managing partner.

The report revealed that in the U.S., Apple took first place followed by BMW and Toyota placing second and third, respectively. The top 10 is rounded out by: Amazon, Harley-Davidson, Disney, Coca-Cola, Whole Foods, GMC and Samsung.

Other notable findings include:

  • Apple ranked #1 in the U.S., Mexico and the UAE
  • The automotive industry is the strongest performing of the nine industries analyzed in the U.S., Mexico and the UAE

In the U.S.:

  • Retail came in second and health & beauty came in third; travel & leisure is the poorest performing category
  • Twenty-five percent of people surveyed have intimate brand relationships
  • Those under 35 tend to have emotional relationships with technology, entertainment and retail brands, while those over 35 have stronger connections with consumer packaged goods
  • Harley Davidson was the #1 brand among men
  • Toyota ranked highest for fulfillment, which centers on exceeding expectations and performance
  • Lego ranked highest for its associations with nostalgia
  • Google ranked #1 for enhancement, enabling improvement through use of the brand. Google also ranked 16th  overall
  • Ben and Jerry’s was seen as strongest on indulgence
  • Mercedes Benz is the top brand related to the identity archetype, meaning it reflects an aspirational image or admired values
  • Startup Uber ranked 14th among automotive brands

BMW’s i3 to be shown off in Super Bowl spot

The all-electric BMW i3 will be featured in a 60-second TV commercial during this year's Super Bowl on Feb. 1.

The all-electric BMW i3 will be featured in a 60-second TV commercial during this year’s Super Bowl on Feb. 1.

Woodcliff Lake, NJ –  BMW announced plans to feature the all-electric BMW i3 in a 60-second spot during Super Bowl XLIX on Sunday, February 1, 2015. After a 4-year hiatus, BMW will be returning to the big game with a commercial during the first quarter.

“As one in three Americans will tune in to watch the Super Bowl, we are thrilled to use this platform to educate viewers on the importance of electric mobility,” said Trudy Hardy, Vice President of Marketing, BMW of North America. “Big ideas like the BMW i3 take a little getting used to, and the creative idea surrounding our spot will play on this analogy.”

BMW i is BMW’s forward-looking and sustainable brand dedicated to solving many of the mobility challenges faced by the world’s most densely populated cities. The BMW i3 is the first of the BMW i vehicles constructed from the ground up primarily of carbon fiber. Currently available in the U.S., the BMW i3 has a starting MSRP of $43,350 (Including $950 Destination and Handling), and the range-extender model has a starting MSRP of $47,200 (Including $950 Destination and Handling).

BMW salutes US Bobsled teams at Sochi

during the Men's Two-Man Bobsleigh heats on Day 9 of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Sliding Center Sanki on February 16, 2014 in Sochi, Russia.

Action during the Men’s Two-Man Bobsleigh heats on Day 9 of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Sliding Center Sanki on February 16, 2014 in Sochi, Russia.

The men’s U.S. two-man bobsled team ends a 62-year medal drought while the women’s team captures both the silver and bronze medals

Perhaps, with all the work done in wind tunnels to reduce the coefficient of drag on daily drivers, it’s not that shocking that a car company helped the USA Bobsled team reshape its 20-year old platform.

BMW North America, aka the official mobility partner of the US Olympic Committee (USOC), helped play a part in the mens and women’s 2-man bobs medaling at the Sochi Winter Olympics that recently ended.

The Men's Two-Man Bobsled team medaled for the first time since 1952 in a sled designed by BMW.

The Men’s Two-Man Bobsled team medaled for the first time since 1952 in a sled designed by BMW.

The men’s team won its first medal since 1952 while the women’s team reached the podium twice, earning silver and bronze medals.

“Being part of this historic U.S. bobsledding milestone has truly been an honor,” said Michael Scully, Creative Director, BMW Group DesignworksUSA.

“To see both the U.S. men’s and women’s teams on the Olympic podium with three medals is both a career and personal highlight, and I’m extremely proud of the athletes’ achievements.”

On Monday, Team USA bobsledders Steve Holcomb and Steve Langton secured the United States’ first medal in 62 years with a bronze medal performance in the men’s two-man bobsled event. The women added to the feat on Wednesday, with Elana Meyers and Lauryn Williams securing a silver medal and Aja Evans and Jamie Greubel coming away with a bronze in the women’s two-man bobsled event. 

BMW applied its engineering and design expertise to the redesign of a new two-man bobsled for use by Team USA at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games. In October 2013, a fleet of six new BMW U.S. two-man bobsleds were delivered to Team USA marking the completion of a project that replaced a 20-year-old platform.

 

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