(Bloomberg) -- The chief U.S. auto safety regulator defended a voluntary agreement with carmakers to add automatic braking systems, saying that making the change mandatory would take too much time.

"Too often safety efforts have been limited to what the government could force industry to do," Mark Rosekind, head of the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, said. "This is a new model for safety. Instead of a fight over setting a floor for safety, this asks companies to aim higher."

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