The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has announced a new proposed rule that would make automatic emergency braking (AEB) systems mandatory in all passenger vehicles and light trucks.
This new ruling – which has yet to be finalized and doesn’t have an implementation date – is projected by the NHTSA to save a minimum of 360 lives per year, as well as reduce injuries by at least 24,000 annually. Moreover, these AEB systems are expected to significantly reduce property damages caused by rear-end crashes.
“Today, we take an important step forward to save lives and make our roadways safer for all Americans,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg was quoted as saying. “Just as lifesaving innovations from previous generations like seat belts and air bags have helped improve safety, requiring automatic emergency braking on cars and trucks would keep all of us safer on our roads.”
This proposed rule is a component of the NHTSA’s National Roadway Safety Strategy, which launched back in January 2022. This initiative is intended to provide multiple layers of protection with safer roads, safer people, safer vehicles, safer speeds, and better post-crash care.
“We’ve seen the benefits of the AEB system in some passenger vehicles already even at lower speeds, and we want to expand the use of the technology to save even more lives,” NHTSA Chief Counsel Ann Carlson was quoted as saying. “That’s why our proposed rule would require all cars to be able to stop and avoid contact with a vehicle in front of them up to 62 miles per hour. And the proposal would require pedestrian AEB, including requiring that AEB recognize and avoid pedestrians at night. This proposed rule is a major safety advancement.”
It’s worth noting that General Motors released a press release shortly after the NHTSA announcement stating that virtually all GM products are equipped as standard with AEB systems. The latest addition to that list is the 2024 Chevy Corvette, which will feature automatic emergency braking as standard.