40 countries agree to automatic emergency braking mandate; US to rely on voluntary compliance

Departments - Regulations

March 5, 2019

Honda is one of 20 automakers that has agreed to make automatic emergency braking (AEB) standard in most U.S. cars by 2022.

The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) has adopted rules that would mandate automatic emergency braking (AEB) by 2020. The technology uses cameras, radar, LiDAR, lasers, and other sensors to detect objects in front of a vehicle and automatically brakes the car if drivers do not respond to an impending threat.

A study by Euro New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) and Australasian NCAP concluded that AEB could lead to a 38% reduction in real-world, rear-end crashes at low speeds. According to estimates by the European Commission, AEB could save more than 1,000 lives annually within the European Union (EU).

The United States did not participate in the UNECE mandate, but the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released voluntary guidelines in 2016 that encouraged automakers to adopt the technology. More than 20 automakers agreed to make the technology standard in almost all vehicles by 2022. By 2025, Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) statisticians believe the U.S. commitment will prevent 28,000 crashes and 12,000 injuries.

The European mandate is stronger than the U.S. agreement, and UNECE’s work will likely speed adoption of the technology here. Higher volumes for sensor and control systems should lower costs, and many automakers try to standardize vehicle offerings globally to reduce manufacturing complexity. UNECE officials say the rules will also establish standards. AEB from various automakers reacts differently to potential crash situations, so a mutually agreed upon global standard could further simplify system design.

The regulation sets test requirements for the deployment of AEB at various speeds, from 0kmh to 60kmh.

The EU and Japan led development of the regulation. http://www.unece.org/automated-vehicles; https://www.nhtsa.gov

Colorado auto dealers sue to stop California emission rules adoption

The Colorado Automobile Dealers Association (CADA) has sued several state agencies to oppose former Gov. John Hickenlooper’s 2018 executive order that had the state adopt California’s stricter rules for vehicle emissions. Newly elected Gov. Jared Polis reaffirmed Hickenlooper’s decision.

California operates with a waiver from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), allowing the state to set tougher emissions rules, including a mandate for a growing number of zero-emissions electric vehicles. Washington D.C. and 12 states other than Colorado and California also follow those rules. President Donald Trump’s administration has proposed new rules that would end California’s EPA waiver, but state officials and others who follow stricter rules have vowed to fight the decision in court if enacted.

CADA officials say the California rules are a poor fit for the mountainous state and argue that adopting another state’s regulations avoids tailoring rules to fit the region’s vehicle fleet and consumer preferences.

“We think it’s illegal for the state of Colorado Air Quality Control Commission to cede authority for our air quality here,” CADA President and CEO Tim Jackson says. “It’s a much tougher standard to meet in Colorado because 75% of the vehicles that new car customers buy in our new car stores are pickups and SUVs, where in California it’s only 50%.” https://www.colorado.auto