By Paul Lienert
DETROIT (Reuters) - Ford Motor Co <F.N> said on Friday it will offer automatic emergency braking on more than half its U.S. models in 2019, and that it is on track to equip all U.S. models with the device by 2022.
Automatic emergency brakes (AEB) are designed to help vehicles avoid collisions. In an interview, Raj Nair, president of Ford's North American operations, said the company's rollout of AEB has been relatively slow due to lack of consumer demand.
For 2018, Ford is offering AEB on about 15 percent of its U.S. models, including the best-selling F-Series pickup and the sporty Mustang. It will make AEB standard later this year on four 2019 models: the all-new Ford Ranger midsize pickup and the redesigned Ford Edge, Lincoln MKC and Lincoln Nautilus crossovers. The 2018 rate compares with less than 10 percent last year.
In an update last month, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said four of 20 automakers in 2017 equipped at least half of their U.S. models with standard AEB. The 20 automakers have agreed to install the devices on all their models by 2022.
Among mass-market companies, Toyota Motor Corp <7203.T> fitted the devices to 56 percent of its 2017 fleet, NHTSA said. The automaker on Thursday said that rate grew to more than 90 percent for 2018.
(Reporting by Paul Lienert in Detroit; Editing by Matthew Lewis)