A new regulation from the National Highway Traffic Administration requires automatic emergency braking (AEB) on all new passenger vehicles by September 2029.

Though the final rule is a step forward for safety, the long delay to compliance is unnecessary, said David Harkey, president of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and Highway Loss Data Institute (IIHS-HLDI).

“We applaud the new regulation, which will ensure that all passenger vehicles come with robust AEB systems that can operate at high speeds and detect pedestrians in both daylight and dark conditions. That’s something we specifically asked NHTSA to require after our research showed that existing pedestrian AEB systems weren’t performing well in the dark,” Harkey said.

“However, we are disappointed that NHTSA has given the industry five years from now to meet the new requirement, as we believe it would be feasible for manufacturers to comply far sooner, ” he added. “In the interim, IIHS will continue working to ensure these systems recognize motorcycles, heavy trucks and bicycles in addition to passenger vehicles and pedestrians, which could save an additional 1,000 lives each year.”

The final rule announced April 29 came in response to a mandate from Congress that was included in the 2021 bipartisan infrastructure law.