Skip to main content
Speeches and Presentations

Heavy Duty Automatic Emergency Braking Rulemaking Announcement

Ann Carlson, NHTSA Chief Counsel

Thursday, June 22, 2023 |

Washington, D.C.

As Prepared for Delivery

Thank you so much, Administrator Hutcheson. I appreciate you being here for this very exciting announcement about heavy vehicle AEB and electronic stability control, lifesaving technologies.

Motor vehicle crashes come at a tremendous cost in lives taken, people injured, and property damaged. In 2019 alone, an estimated 36,500 people were killed, another 4.5 million were injured, and 23 million vehicles were damaged. According to NHTSA research, traffic crashes cost American society $340 billion that year. Traffic crashes devastate families and place a tremendous economic burden on society, and this rulemaking can help save lives, reduce injuries, and reduce damages. 

This proposed heavy-vehicle rulemaking will deliver substantial safety benefits. Specifically, this proposal targets rear-end, rollover, and loss of control crashes, and their associated fatalities, injuries, and property damage.   

We’re proposing to adopt a new Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard to require automatic emergency braking systems on heavy vehicles, meaning vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating greater than 10,000 pounds. That means, in technical parlance, trucks from class 3 all the way up to class 8. We’re also proposing to amend FMVSS No. 136 to require nearly all heavy vehicles to have an electronic stability control system that meets all the requirements of FMVSS No. 136. The proposed rule requires heavy vehicles to fully stop and completely avoid contact with other vehicles across a range of speeds from approximately 6 mph all the way up to 62 mph. In addition, the proposal would reduce impact speeds significantly when vehicles with a weight above 10,000 lbs are traveling at faster speeds. That means a lot of crashes won’t occur at all. Those crashes that don’t fully avoid contact with a vehicle will be less severe – saving lives, reducing or even eliminating injuries, and making crashes less serious. With the requirement that electronic stability control and AEB systems be on during vehicle operation, the proposed rule would conservatively prevent an estimated 19,118 crashes, save 155 lives, and reduce 8,814 non-fatal injuries annually, once all vehicles covered in this rule are equipped with AEB and ESC. In addition, it would eliminate 24,828 property-damage-only crashes annually.  

Combined with our recently published proposed rule for light vehicles, today’s proposal will mean that nearly all newly produced vehicles will be required to be equipped with lifesaving AEB technology in the near future. This proposal is a result of many years of NHTSA research on vehicle safety systems, and it also advances a mandate under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

Public comment is a vital part of the rulemaking process. We use the comments we receive to refine and strengthen final rules and invite the public to weigh in on this proposed rule. 

Everyone is welcome to submit comments for 60 days   when the NPRM is published in the Federal Register, and we hope to hear from many members of the public, the safety community, and manufacturers of safety technologies and heavy-duty vehicles.

Before we wrap up, we have a quick video for you that demonstrates the lifesaving potential of heavy-duty AEB technology. You’ll see quickly just how much these systems can reduce crash severity.