Consumer Reports (CR), the independent, nonprofit member organization, welcomes the opportunity to comment on the notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to require automatic emergency braking (AEB) systems, including pedestrian AEB (PAEB), on light vehicles. Given persistently high traffic fatalities on U.S. roads and the proven effectiveness of AEB, NHTSA should act swiftly to publish a strong final rule.
CR has praised NHTSA’s AEB proposal, stating upon its release that the proposed rule “meets the moment” and “would save lives, prevent costly crashes, and dramatically raise the bar for safety on our roads.” We stand shoulder-to-shoulder with more than 24,000 individual consumers, who signed a CR petition supporting NHTSA’s plans to require AEB and PAEB in all new cars, SUVs, and trucks, and who urged the agency to finalize the strongest possible requirements without delay. We also consider it important for NHTSA to substantially shorten its proposed compliance timelines and further strengthen the proposal to protect against the risk of a final rule being outdated at the time its requirements take effect, or soon thereafter.
CR submitted comments on information related to AEB that the agency has requested. We also offered comments on specific areas where the proposed rule should be strengthened to better serve consumers, including testing scenarios for lead vehicle AEB and PAEB, false activation requirements, prevention of crashes involving bicyclists and motorcyclists, and compliance timelines. AEB is life-saving technology, and in this rulemaking, NHTSA has an unparalleled opportunity to maximize the safety benefits of this feature in all light vehicles. We urge NHTSA to seize this opportunity by moving forward expeditiously and issuing a final rule for AEB that is even stronger than its proposal.