NHTSA Enacts AEB Safety Standard for 2029

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In a major development in automotive safety, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced a significant policy change that mandates automatic emergency braking (AEB) systems in all new passenger cars and light trucks by September 2029. This initiative, as part of the National Roadway Safety Strategy, aims to enhance road safety by reducing rear-end collisions and protecting pedestrians.

Key Highlights

  • Mandatory AEB systems in new passenger cars and light trucks by 2029
  • Projected to save at least 360 lives and prevent around 24,000 injuries each year
  • Supports pedestrian detection during both day and night
  • Enhances vehicle capability to automatically apply brakes up to speeds of 90 mph for vehicles and 45 mph for pedestrians

“The new vehicle safety standards we finalized today will save hundreds of lives and prevent tens of thousands of injuries every year,” stated U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. He highlighted the role of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law in this advancement, emphasizing safer travel for both drivers and pedestrians.


NHTSA Deputy Administrator Sophie Shulman noted, “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.” She added that many manufacturers are likely to comply with these requirements well before the 2029 deadline.

The standard outlines that vehicles must have the capability to avoid collisions at speeds up to 62 miles per hour and detect pedestrians in low-light conditions. It is a significant part of the Department’s broader National Roadway Safety Strategy which also focuses on building safer infrastructure and promoting safer driving behaviors.

This move by the NHTSA aligns with provisions from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that call for setting minimum performance standards for passenger vehicle equipment, specifically AEB systems. Furthermore, a Final Regulatory Impact Analysis accompanying the rule estimates the benefits and associated costs, all detailed in the Final Rule available on the Transportation.gov website.

In related efforts, NHTSA, together with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, is also advancing rules to require AEB systems in heavy vehicles like tractor trailers, aiming for a comprehensive upgrade in vehicle safety standards across various classes of vehicles.

This rule signifies a pivotal step in U.S. road safety measures, potentially setting a global benchmark in automotive safety regulations.

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The Brake Report
The Brake Report

The BRAKE Report is an online media platform dedicated to the automotive and commercial vehicle brake segments. Our mission is to provide the global brake community with the latest news & headlines from around the industry.