New estimates of safety features in vehicle fleet

December 28, 2017

Nissan Rogue with ProPILOT Assist

Parking assist systems are spreading faster in the fleet than front crash prevention and other crash avoidance features, indicates a new report from HLDI examining how many vehicles are equipped with various driver assistance technologies.

HLDI analyses of claims data and IIHS studies of police-reported crashes indicate that several crash avoidance technologies are reducing crashes reported to insurers and police, with the biggest benefits so far for front crash prevention. The overall impact on highway safety, however, has been limited due to the small number of vehicles on the road equipped with the mostly optional technologies.

It typically takes at least three decades before 95 percent of vehicles on the road have a given feature, HLDI has previously estimated. That projection is based on availability, meaning the feature could be standard or optional.

Bolstered by new data, HLDI for the first time has estimated the percentage of the fleet equipped with optional driver assistance features. The estimates are based on vehicle data manufacturers shared with HLDI. Analysts combined this with vehicle feature information from HLDI's database and registration data from IHS Automotive. Besides rear cameras and rear parking sensors, the studied features include front crash prevention with forward collision warning, front crash prevention with automatic emergency braking, adaptive front lighting, lane departure warning and blind spot monitoring.

HLDI predicts that 95 percent of registered vehicles will be equipped with rear cameras in 2039; rear parking sensors in 2041; forward collision warning, blind spot monitoring and lane departure warning in 2043; autobrake in 2045 and adaptive headlights sometime after 2050.

"These are the best estimates of how many vehicles on the road are or will be equipped with these technologies," says Matt Moore, senior vice president of HLDI.

Federal mandates, safety ratings that reward certain features, and other factors can speed up the rate at which technology ends up in new models and therefore in registered vehicles.

Rear cameras, which were introduced on model year 2002 vehicles, are the only feature HLDI estimates will be on more than half of the registered vehicle population in 2021 — and the only one subject to a federal mandate. Nearly a quarter of the 2016 registered vehicle fleet had rear cameras, and they were available on more than a third of vehicles. Rear cameras will be required on most new vehicles starting May 1, 2018, as a way to reduce backover crashes involving children and pedestrians.

HLDI studies of insurance losses have shown that rearview cameras and rear parking sensors reduce claim rates for damage to other vehicles (see "Rearview cameras reduce police-reported backing crashes," Nov. 17, 2016). An IIHS study of police-reported crashes indicates that rearview cameras could prevent nearly 1 in 6 police-reported backing crashes.

Front autobrake, which has shown large reductions in crashes reported to insurers and to police, will have the most growth, increasing from less than 1 percent of the registered fleet in 2016 to about 5 percent in 2021. Automakers have voluntarily committed to make front autobrake standard on nearly all new models sold by 2022.

Predicted registered vehicles equipped with advanced driver assistance systems by calendar year, 2016 and 2021

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