U.S. to Standardize Automatic Emergency Braking in All New Cars by 2029

Learn about the new NHTSA rule that mandates Automatic Emergency Braking in all new passenger cars and light trucks by 2029, aiming to drastically reduce road casualties.

U.S. to Standardize Automatic Emergency Braking in All New Cars by 2029
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In a significant advancement for road safety, the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has established a new mandate that will see Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) systems become a standard feature in all new passenger cars and light trucks by September 2029. This move is part of a broader initiative under the Department's National Roadway Safety Strategy aimed at reducing the high number of deaths and injuries on U.S. roads.

NHTSA Finalizes Key Safety Rule to Reduce Crashes and Save Lives | NHTSA
New Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard, FMVSS No. 127, makes automatic emergency braking standard in all cars and light trucks.

Key Features of the New AEB Standard

1. Enhanced Safety Measures

The newly finalized Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard, FMVSS No. 127, is set to significantly reduce rear-end collisions and pedestrian accidents. AEB systems, which utilize sensors to detect imminent collisions and automatically engage the brakes, will now need to operate effectively in both daylight and darker night conditions.

2. Projected Impact

It's estimated that this standard will save at least 360 lives and prevent over 24,000 injuries annually. By making AEB a universal feature, the technology will no longer be an optional luxury but a fundamental safety component in all new vehicles.

3. Specifications and Requirements

Vehicles will need to demonstrate the capability to autonomously stop to avoid collisions with other vehicles up to speeds of 62 mph, and detect pedestrians and apply brakes up to 45 mph. The standard mandates the system's functionality at speeds as high as 90 mph for vehicular collisions, setting a robust framework for manufacturers to enhance system sensitivity and responsiveness.

4. Broader Safety Strategy

This regulation aligns with the Department’s comprehensive approach to tackling the traffic fatality crisis, including safer road designs, promoting responsible driving behaviors, and improving post-crash care. The inclusion of AEB in all new light vehicles is a critical component of ensuring a safer future on American roads.

Implications and Industry Response

Manufacturers who have already been integrating AEB technology are expected to adapt quickly to these new regulations, potentially meeting these standards well before the 2029 deadline. This proactive approach by automakers underscores the industry's commitment to safety and the technological maturity of AEB systems.

However, the new rule also highlights areas that require further attention, such as the inclusion of different road users like bicyclists and individuals with mobility aids, and extending the mandate to heavier vehicles, which is currently under a separate rulemaking process.

Looking Forward

As the technology evolves and becomes more integrated, the potential for reducing accidents and saving lives increases. Nonetheless, the road safety community continues to advocate for the inclusion of other advanced technologies such as lane-keeping assistance and intelligent speed adaptation to complement AEB systems. Such technologies are part of a broader vision to create safer driving environments and encourage less reliance on driving within communities.