Safer cars are also better at lifting mpg rates? image

According to automakers, governments should give them credit for introducing near-autonomous features that increase safety and also have the potential to make them spend less fuel and thus decrease pollution.

The current crop of new models are popularizing safety features such as automatic collision warning and braking, adaptive cruise control or lane departure warning and correction – and both automakers, industry experts and regulators believe they could lower the accidents and death count. A smaller number of traffic incidents also has the potential to lower congestion and improve traffic flow – and such factors, together with speed management strategies might drop the vehicle emissions by up to 30 percent, according to researchers from the University of California. That prompts Mitch Bainwol, the chief of industry lobbying group Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers to believe governments and regulators should let automakers take the benefits into account when talking about emission regulations and the US corporate average fuel economy, or CAFE.

The industry group represents the likes of Japan’s Toyota or US automakers General Motors and Ford, among others and wants the government rethink its negative decision towards the credits. According to certain current and former regulators and environmentalists, the carmakers are actually trying to navigate their way easier towards meeting the tougher mileage and emissions regulations. So far, the auto companies have been hard at work to meet the US targets set for 2025 of reaching a collective average of 54.5 miles on a gallon of gasoline for all light-duty cars and trucks sold in the US in a year. And they have even more to do as after two months into 2015 the average fuel economy of new light vehicles sold is just 25.2 mpg, according to data from the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute.

Via The Wall Street Journal