Technology Lets Cars Brake Automatically

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The insurance industry says amazing new technology can dramatically cut down the number of car crashes.

Low speed rear-end accidents are the most common type of car crash.

But there are now cars that will automatically engage the brakes when a possible rear-end crash is detected.

Volvo's "city safety system" is among the new automatic-braking technology.

An infrared laser in the windshield senses a potential collision, and the vehicle itself firmly applies the brakes.

"There is always the risk that the technology could make a mistake. But it's much more likely that a human could make a mistake because we're all so easily distracted," explained Adrian Lund, president of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

The safety group says the system eliminates more 25 percent of low speed crashes.

Volvo will make the "city safety system" standard in four models by next year.

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