NSC Statement on NHTSA's Finalized Standard for Automatic Emergency Braking Requirements

Standard makes automatic emergency braking, including pedestrian AEB, standard on all passenger cars and light trucks by September 2029.

April 30, 2024

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) finalized Monday a new Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard which makes automatic emergency braking (AEB), including pedestrian AEB, standard on all passenger cars and light trucks by September 2029. According to the agency, this safety standard is expected to significantly reduce rear-end and pedestrian crashes, saving at least 360 lives a year and preventing at least 24,000 injuries annually. 

In June 2023, the National Safety Council (NSC) supported NHTSA’s notice of proposed rulemaking to require AEB and pedestrian AEB on new passenger cars and light trucks; we are thrilled with the announcement of this new Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard. The standard fulfills a provision in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to establish minimum performance standards requiring that all passenger vehicles be equipped with AEB and also aligns with the Department of Transportation’s National Roadway Safety Strategy, further embracing the Safe System Approach by directly taking a step toward making safer vehicles, a pillar of the holistic approach to roadway safety

AEB systems use sensors to detect when a vehicle is close to crashing into a vehicle or pedestrian in front and automatically applies the brakes if the driver has not. The new standard requires all cars be able to stop and avoid contact with a vehicle in front of them up to 62 miles per hour and that the systems must detect pedestrians in both daylight and darkness. In addition, the standard requires that the system apply the brakes automatically up to 90 mph when a collision with a lead vehicle is imminent and up to 45 mph when a pedestrian is detected

NSC believes the development, design, and accessibility of vehicle technology are key components to addressing the tragic trend of roadway fatalities. Improvements in vehicle safety must take into account risks to both vehicle occupants and non-occupants, and ways to mitigate these risks must be clearly communicated to the public. As NSC and other roadway advocacy groups soon descend upon Capitol Hill during Infrastructure Week to meet with federal legislators on issues impacting pedestrians and other vulnerable road users, we applaud NHTSA for this AEB standard and hope to see this requirement extend to large trucks. NSC stands ready to continue working with employers, policymakers, government agencies and community leaders across public and private sectors to prioritize the safe mobility for all roadway users in the U.S

About the National Safety Council
The National Safety Council is America’s leading nonprofit safety advocate – and has been for 110 years. As a mission-based organization, we work to eliminate the leading causes of preventable death and injury, focusing our efforts on the workplace and roadways. We create a culture of safety to not only keep people safer at work, but also beyond the workplace so they can live their fullest lives.

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