Feds to require automatic emergency braking on new cars

Automakers have five years to implement the technology in all vehicles.

The US Department of Transportation will soon require automatic emergency braking (AEB) to become standard equipment on nearly all new passenger vehicles within the next five years, aiming to prevent rear-end and pedestrian collisions.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced the new regulation on Monday. 


Driving the news: According to the administration, the new rules are designed to reduce the 40,000 traffic deaths that occur annually. 

  • The regulation will require significant engineering adjustments to bolster software and possibly add hardware such as radar, with an estimated cost increase of $82 per vehicle, but it is projected to save 362 lives annually and prevent about 24,000 injuries.
  • The rule mandates that all passenger vehicles weighing 10,000 pounds or less must have forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and pedestrian detection braking. It sets specific performance requirements for vehicles to automatically stop and avoid collisions at various speeds, as well as detect pedestrians during both day and night.
  • NHTSA will conduct random tests to ensure automakers are meeting the standards but is not mandating the type of sensors each automaker must use to comply with the requirements.

What they’re saying: “We’re living through a crisis in roadway deaths,” Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg told the Associated Press. “So we need to do something about it.”

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