Ten major car manufacturers have committed to making automatic emergency braking a standard feature on all new vehicles.
The announcement was made by administrator Mark Rosekind of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at the dedication of a new expanded testing facility at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in Ruckersville, Virginia.
Roskekind called it "a new era in safety technology."
AEB technology applies brakes autonomously to avoid collisions using sensors to monitor road conditions.
"Huge deal. Automatic emergency braking saves lives, prevents injuries, and reduces crashes," Rosekind told ABC News.
It is showing benefits in the real world, according to the insurance institute. The nonprofit organization, which is funded by auto insurers, says several studies show that the technology can reduce insurance injury claims by as much as 35 percent.
"If the technology can take over, it doesn't matter if that driver is drunk, drugged, drowsy, distracted, makes a bad choice about something else -- the technology could save their life and the people around them," said Rosekind. "Automatic emergency braking makes sure you don't hit whatever's in front of you."
The 10 manufacturers, committing to across the board AEB, represent 57 percent of U.S. light-duty vehicle sales in 2014.
When the systems will enter new cars is still to be determined.