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Rule requiring automatic emergency braking systems for trucks under review by White House

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Federal agencies are pushing forward a new rule to require automatic emergency braking systems on heavy trucks.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) have issued a joint rule proposal to the White House for consideration.

The proposed rule would “require and/or standardize equipment performance for automatic emergency braking (AEB) systems on heavy trucks. The rulemaking is expected to propose performance standards and motor carrier maintenance requirements for AEB systems on heavy trucks and accompanying test procedures for measuring the performance of the AEB systems in NHTSA compliance testing.”

The rule would require White House approval prior to publication in the Federal Register, where it would be open for public comment and review.

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act enacted in 2021 required federal agencies to move forward with rulemaking to require AEB on commercial vehicles.

While groups like the Truck Safety Coalition (TSC) have been pushing for lawmakers to move forward with AEB requirements for heavy duty trucks, trucking trade group Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) has raised questions about the real world application of the technology.

In response to a 2021 bill requiring advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), including AEB, on all new motor vehicles, OOIDA said that members have routinely shared practical concerns with current AEB technology, including difficulty controlling trucks in inclement weather when systems are activated, unwarranted activations, and highly distracting warnings and false alarms.

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