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Nissan brakes for you

New safety feature aims to make up for slow human reflexes, soften blow in crashes.

Nissan's SULEV concept car
Nissan's SULEV concept car Nissan

A new automated emergency-braking feature will be in U.S. Nissan cars by next year, the company said Tuesday.

The feature works in tandem with the gas pedal to help drivers avoid a crash.

When speed and distance sensors on the car detect an imminent crash, the gas pedal lifts slightly to warn the driver. If the driver eases pressure on the gas pedal in response, the car automatically brakes instead of waiting until the driver slams a foot on the brake pedal, according to a report from the Associated Press.

But the driver still has ultimate control over the vehicle at all times, and can choose to keep the gas pedal depressed and maintain speed even after the warning.

Plan on seeing the new safety feature implemented in Nissan cars sold in Japan this year and in cars sold in the U.S. next year.

The news follows Nissan's Monday announcement that it is investing in cleaner diesel engine technology that could meet California's standard for super-ultra-low emission vehicles (SULEVs), as well as new DUI-prevention features.