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US Demands Standards for Automatic Braking in Heavy Trucks
Jun 14, 2021

Since 2015, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has recommended that vehicles come standard with automatic emergency braking or collision warnings. This board investigates clashes and makes recommendations to prevent them from happening.

Although safety systems are now becoming more common in passenger cars, there is no federal requirement to supply semis with collision warnings or automatic emergency braking.

The NTSB recommendations gained real traction when the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) mediated contracts with 20 automakers in 2016; these automakers account for 99% of new passenger car sales in the United States. These contracts voluntarily created automatic emergency braking standards for all models, standard by the end of 2022 production.

This did not apply to large rigs. A group representing independent heavy-duty truck drivers claims that the technology is not ready for heavy-duty vehicles and can operate unexpectedly for no reason.

“Our members also reported that it was difficult to operate the vehicle in bad weather when the system was operating, which raised safety concerns,” said the Owner-Operator Independent Driver Association in a statement.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found in last year’s survey that automatic emergency braking and forward collision warnings could prevent more than 40% of rear-end crashes.

“I don’t understand the delay,” said Cathy Chase, President of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety (another group that called for regulation from NHTSA.) She feels authorities were moving too slowly by not releasing the regulation until next year.“It may sound impatient, but when people die on the road, 5,000 people die on the road each year.

"We are proving a solution and want quicker action," Chase said.

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