Toyota gets head start on making auto-braking features standard

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story misstated Toyota‘s total number of vehicles. The correct figure is 30.

LOS ANGELES — Toyota plans to make automatic emergency braking a standard feature on many Toyota and Lexus vehicles by the end of 2017, the automaker said today.

The move would give it a four-year head start on a recent pact between nearly all major automakers to do the same by 2022.

“We are proud to help lead this industry in standardizing these systems and bring automated braking to our customers sooner rather than later,” Jim Lentz, CEO of Toyota North America, said in a statement.

The suite of safety systems is already available as an option on Toyota models as the Toyota Safety Sense package and on Lexus models as the Lexus Safety System Plus. The system includes pre-collision braking, lane departure alert and automatic high beams on lower-end models such as the Yaris, Corolla iM and Prius C. Other Toyota models and the Lexus lineup will add to that pedestrian and vehicle detection, radar cruise control and a steering assist on the lane departure system.

By the end of 2017, 25 of 30 Toyota and Lexus vehicles will be equipped with these features as standard gear. Those that won’t come with the packages include the Toyota Mirai, and the Scion iA — which already offer pre-collision braking as standard — and the 4Runner and 86 coupe and the Lexus GX SUV.

The announcement comes on the heels of an industrywide agreement last week between 20 major automakers to add automatic braking and pre-collision to all light vehicles by 2022.

Doing so would have an immediate impact on vehicle safety in the U.S. A recent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety study shows that automatic emergency braking can cut rear-end crashes by as much as 40 percent.

Audi, BMW, Fiat Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar Land Rover, Kia, Maserati, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Porsche and Subaru,Tesla, Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo have all committed to the pact, which was brokered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the IIHS.

The group represents about 99 percent of U.S. light-vehicle sales, according to NHTSA.

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