Lane departure warning and collision avoidance systems have largely been the province of upscale automakers or the range-topping trims in volume models, but that's beginning to change. Apparently, however, the National Transportation Safety Board feels that such safety features should not be the preserve of the well-to-do, however, suggesting that this technology should be made standard on all new cars and trucks. This announcement comes as the NTSB adds "Collision Avoidance" to its Most Wanted List, which the board uses to "increase awareness of, and support for, the most critical changes needed to reduce transportation accidents and save lives."

The government agency suggests that the entire suite of collision avoidance technologies be made compulsory, including adaptive cruise control, automatic braking and electronic stability control. Last year, there were more than 32,000 traffic deaths, and the NTSB says inclusion of these technologies in all vehicles could cut fatal highway accidents in half.

Automakers warn that inclusion of these technologies as standard equipment will raise the base price on vehicles by thousands of dollars. According to the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, passive warning systems cost about $1,000 to $3,000 per vehicle, while active systems that apply the brakes if the driver does not respond to warnings could cost as much as $3,000 per car. While Autoblog acknowledges that the cost of such systems is prohibitive – and not all of us are fans of such systems – the AAM's numbers strike us as a bit curious, as such systems generally don't command that kind of money on current models that have them as options.

For their part, safety advocates counter that cost-per-vehicle would come down with volume. According to an NTSB board member, "Some of this technology could be done for literally just a few dollars," he continued, "I don't think we're talking about adding thousands of dollars to a car."

As part of this year's Most Wanted list, the board also suggested that automakers create systems that disable all but the most essential mobile phone functions. This, combined with the suite of collision alert systems would result in a driver that is more informed of his/her surroundings and not distracted while driving.


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  • 88 Comments
      Andre Neves
      • 2 Years Ago
      Meanwhile, these systems are adding higher vehicle costs, high insurance costs, more weight, & dumber drivers.
      SloopJohnB
      • 2 Years Ago
      What is needed is a stupid detector......
        Nemebean
        • 2 Years Ago
        @SloopJohnB
        The NTSB doesn't like all the "false alarms" those get around them. ;-)
          S.
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Nemebean
          At least they'd have an endless supply of people to test out the prototypes.
      PM
      • 2 Years Ago
      "According to an NTSB board member, "Some of this technology could be done for literally just a few dollars," he continued, "I don't think we're talking about adding thousands of dollars to a car."" Oh.. but it IS thousands of dollars to a car. This board member should be booted for his "thinking"
        brandon
        • 2 Years Ago
        @PM
        It's GovCo, bud. No one that is in a position of power within the government has a clue on matters of economics and the like. They just think that everything can be added for "free", as they never actually do anything to generate revenue. They just steal it, via taxes, from it's citizens. Screw GovCo, and everyone that works for/in it.
      carguy1701
      • 2 Years Ago
      here's an idea: instead of making this a nanny state, how about BETTER DRIVER TRAINING?!
      chromal
      • 2 Years Ago
      If you make a foolproof car, they will just make better fools. If the driver can't keep the vehicle in their lane, they have no business operating a motor vehicle. The only thing worse than active safety systems taking the place of a experienced driver with good situational awareness is a driver coming to DEPEND upon active safety systems while their safe driving habits atrophy. My newest car, a 2012 Mazdaspeed3, has blind spot monitor, but I will no allow myself to skip shoulder checking upon lane changes for fear that I build a bad habit to take back to my 1996 SAAB and 1998 Honda.
      Brewman15
      • 2 Years Ago
      I am okay with NTSB mandating certain passive safety equipment like pre-tension seat belts, anti-submarine seats, crumple zones, side impact protection, and some airbags that protect the DRIVER in case of an accident. I am also okay with some active safety equipment such as anti-lock brakes, traction control, and stability management (as long as the latter two can be turned off) that can help the DRIVER avoid or minimize an accident. I am not okay with safety equipment like lane departure warning, blind spot monitors, back-up cameras or automatic braking / crash avoidance because the CAR is now responsible for avoiding or minimizing an accident. This means distracted drivers will be more distracted and bad drivers will be worse for the simple logic of "'Hey, the car will protect me, why should I worry?" As others said, why are we relying more and more on the car to avoid an accident and less on the driver? Instead of all these technology nannies how about a nation wide standard driver ed and license test that are more encompassing and more difficult that weeds out bad drivers or forces them to learn to be a better driver?
        Tarantula
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Brewman15
        Out of all these, backup camera/sensors could be useful, specially for all who drive Bumble Bees......
      WillieD
      • 2 Years Ago
      Vehicles are so safe as it is. Like said in the comments prior, driver training needs the focus, not more technology that can fail and costs a lot of money.
      Shiftright
      • 2 Years Ago
      How about actually requiring people to know how to control a car before giving them a license? The tests and requirements in this country are laughable? Have a heartbeat? Great! Here's a license!
      Car Guy
      • 2 Years Ago
      Let's look at some math: Autoblog reported in April the average new car sales price is nearly $31K. Add $3000 for improving fuel economy and another $3000 for safety features and the average new car price will be close to $40K by 2020. Even basic transportation like a Fit or Feista will be upwards of $26-28K. Meanwhile wages continue to go DOWN over the past several years with no signs of improving. It is shaping up to be an ulgy future for afforadibility in the car industry..........
        Ducman69
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Car Guy
        Blame voters. They keep voting democrat, promising all these "free" stuff and not understanding that there is no such thing as a free meal and someone has to pay for it. They keep assuming its going to be someone else. Its mind boggling.
        S.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Car Guy
        It's not looking good, that's for sure.
      prighello
      • 2 Years Ago
      Piss off NSTB, all your BS regs are making cars way to complicated, expensive, and heavy. We are now at or beyond the point of diminishing returns...traffic deaths are WAY down so bugger off. I'd rather see a reversal with cheaper less bloated vehicles...I'm fine driving an "unsafe" car so long as it's disclosed. It's a personal decision to assume the risk...people still ride motorcycles for Pete's sake.
      Redcoat
      • 2 Years Ago
      No, no...the NTSB have it all wrong....You need to put huge spikes all over the interior of cars and then watch how safely people drive.... That and some driver training
      BRKF06
      • 2 Years Ago
      Totally opposed to this. This is about better driving. Most people just don't know the size of their cars. I'm amazed how often I see people who can't slide past a stopped car at a light to turn right. They all sit there as if they can't fit.
        Agilis
        • 2 Years Ago
        @BRKF06
        Perhaps, but with my car, if there's room, sure.. but the price of my wheels, I'm not risking curbing the wheels because some dumb idiot doesn't know how to stay near the median.
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