Automatic emergency-braking systems are known to prevent accidents and now they will be added as a standard feature on vehicles made by almost two dozen U.S. automakers.

Many manufacturers don’t currently offer the safety feature, or offer it on only some models, but that’s about to change.

Twenty automakers have just committed to making this lifesaving feature standard in the next six years. 

Consumer Reports evaluates the safety systems and says they have the potential to be important lifesavers.

The systems use a laser, radar or camera to anticipate a frontal crash and then automatic emergency braking kicks in as the vehicle approaches an object without the driver even touching the pedal.

About 60 percent of all new cars offer similar safety technology, but often as an optional package costing $500 to $3,000 extra.

Consumer Reports is now handing out extra rating points to those vehicles that have the safety technology.

In addition to testing collision prevention systems, Consumer Reports surveys its subscribers on how well the systems work. The most recent survey of 3,000 people found 36 per cent said the system had saved them from an accident.