Automatic Emergency Braking to Be Required for All New Vehicles in 2029

Chris Teague
by Chris Teague

Automakers are increasingly making advanced driver assist systems (ADAS) like automatic emergency braking (AEB) standard to meet tightening crash-test standards, but that feature will become required by law in 2029. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently finalized a rule requiring that AEB be included on all new vehicles by 2029.

The NHTSA’s ruling will make AEB the law of the land, requiring the feature to stop vehicles to avoid collisions at speeds of up to 62 mph. Braking systems must be able to activate automatically at up to 90 mph when a collision is imminent and 45 mph when they detect a pedestrian.

NHTSA deputy administrator Sophie Shulman said, “Automatic emergency braking is proven to save lives and reduce serious injuries from frontal crashes, and this technology is now mature enough to require it in all new cars and light trucks. In fact, this technology is now so advanced that we’re requiring these systems to be even more effective at higher speeds and to detect pedestrians.” The Administration predicted that the new regulations would prevent 24,000 injuries and save 360 lives.

The new rules also require AEB to be effective in day and night lighting conditions. Unlike some regulations that face fierce industry pushback, including those regarding fuel economy and emissions standards, the NHTSA believes this one is reasonable and achievable. Consumer Reports participated in the research process for the ruling, saying it had submitted a petition with 24,000 consumer signatures to push the NHTSA to act.

[Image: ambrozinio via Shutterstock]

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Chris Teague
Chris Teague

Chris grew up in, under, and around cars, but took the long way around to becoming an automotive writer. After a career in technology consulting and a trip through business school, Chris began writing about the automotive industry as a way to reconnect with his passion and get behind the wheel of a new car every week. He focuses on taking complex industry stories and making them digestible by any reader. Just don’t expect him to stay away from high-mileage Porsches.

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  • Slavuta Slavuta on Apr 30, 2024

    "The NHTSA’s ruling will make AEB the law of the land," -- who elected these dorks to make laws of the land? But then again.. will US be around in 2029?

    "Braking systems must be able to activate automatically at up to 90 mph when a collision is imminent" -- I already envision highway pileups. So, If I come too close behind to pass a car ahead, the AEB will make life fun. nice.

    • See 4 previous
    • Jkross22 Jkross22 on May 01, 2024

      Politicians have always bought into the sports axiom, "if you ain't cheatin', you ain't tryin'". That's how it's possible to get rich in office. How else to explain Pelosi's ability for her day drinking AND day trading. She's good at both.

  • TheMrFreeze TheMrFreeze on May 01, 2024

    So basically no manual transmissions in US cars after 2029.

    I just raised one finger in the general direction of NHTSB's main office. Guess which finger it is!

    • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on May 02, 2024

      Good point, unless they are exempted due to being only 1.7% of US car sales.

  • Jeff Jeff on May 01, 2024

    Miss that old bumper sticker "I brake for unicorns."

  • Bill Wade Bill Wade on May 04, 2024

    I was driving a new Subaru a few weeks ago on I-10 near Tucson and it suddenly decided to slam on the brakes from a tumbleweed blowing across the highway. I just about had a heart attack while it nearly threw my mom through the windshield and dumped our grocery bags all over the place.

    It seems like a bad idea to me, the tech isn't ready.