The Nissan lineup gets safer for 2018

Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) keeps an eye on your speed and proximity to the vehicle ahead and can apply brakes if a potential forward collision is detected and you fail to respond. (Image courtesy of Nissan North America)

In a bold move, Nissan announced that it will be making automatic emergency braking (AEB) standard on seven of its most popular models. This more than doubles the number of AEB-equipped Nissan vehicles versus the 2017 model year.

In fact, Nissan projects that AEB will be standard on 1 million vehicles sold in the United States in the 2018 model year.

"The big news here is that we're making AEB standard across all grades of our best-selling models," said Michael Bunce, vice president of product planning for Nissan North America, Inc., in a press release. "This increased AEB availability is part of our ongoing commitment to help reduce fatalities while realizing our comprehensive vision of Nissan Intelligent Mobility."

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has been making a huge push to bring more safety tech to more vehicles, stating “technology saves lives.” It cites research that says 94 percent of fatal crashes involve human choice or error.

Another interesting stat: One-third of all police-reported crashes involve a rear-end collision.

AEB, also known as front crash prevention or forward emergency braking, uses radar to monitor the speed and distance of vehicles in front of the AEB-equipped vehicle. Most systems offer visible, audible or haptic feedback to alert a driver of a potential collision, and if the driver fails to act, AEB will apply brakes to avoid or lessen the effects of a collision.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety actually includes AEB as a prerequisite for a vehicle to be considered for the Top Safety Pick award. And just because a vehicle may be equipped with AEB, it still needs to be judged “Advanced” or “Superior” to win the award. Oftentimes, these technologies are “available” or “optional,” however, and only the high-end, top-tier vehicles are considered a Top Safety Pick.

Nissan has neatly sidestepped any confusion over which cars and which models will be eligible for 2018 Top Safety Pick status by making AEB standard on several of its upcoming models.

Vehicles on which AEB will be standard include Rogue ($24/420)/Rogue Sport ($21,420), Altima ($22,500), Murano ($29,770), Maxima ($32,610), Leaf ($30,680), Pathfinder ($30,290) and Sentra ($16,990).

Currently, every one of these models, except the Leaf, is on the IIHS Top Safety Pick or Top Safety Pick + award list with the caveat of being equipped with optional front crash prevention.