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New Safety Mandate Requires Automatic Braking in All New U.S. Vehicles by 2029

In a landmark move to enhance road safety, the United States government has announced a new regulation that will require all new cars and trucks sold in the United States to be equipped with automatic emergency braking (AEB) systems starting in 2029.

Saving Lives and Preventing Injuries

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has finalized this rule, which aims to address the alarming rise in traffic-related fatalities. According to the data, an estimated 41,000 people lost their lives in automobile accidents in the United States in 2023 alone.

“The new vehicle safety standards we finalized today will save hundreds of lives and prevent tens of thousands of injuries every year,” stated Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.

Stringent Requirements and Technological Advancements

The new regulation sets stringent requirements for the AEB systems, going beyond the current technological capabilities.

Automakers will be required to install systems that can automatically apply the brakes to avoid collisions at speeds of up to 62 miles per hour. Additionally, the systems must be able to initiate braking at speeds up to 90 miles per hour when a collision is imminent, even though the maximum speed limit in the U.S. is 85 miles per hour.

The systems will also need to be able to detect and respond to pedestrians, further enhancing the safety features.

Industry Concerns and Regulatory Approach

While automakers have already been voluntarily adopting AEB systems, with around 90% of new vehicles currently equipped with some form of the technology, the industry has expressed concerns about the new requirements.

The Alliance for Automotive Innovation, the industry’s main lobbying group, argued that the expectation for manufacturers to provide “undefined levels of avoidance at all speeds” was neither practical nor reasonable.

However, the Biden administration remains confident that the technology will be ready by the 2029 compliance deadline, stating that they are committed to saving lives and preventing injuries through this groundbreaking safety mandate.

The Road Ahead

This new regulation marks a significant step forward in the ongoing efforts to improve road safety in the United States.

By mandating the installation of advanced automatic emergency braking systems in all new vehicles, the government aims to significantly reduce the number of traffic-related deaths and injuries, making the nation’s roads safer for all.

But, regulators have also noted carmakers concerns about “taking away the driver’s authority” at those higher speeds.

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