Automatic emergency brake proposal sent to White House for review

April 6, 2023

Mark Schremmer


A proposed rule regarding automatic emergency braking systems on heavy vehicles has been sent to the White House for review.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s notice of proposed rulemaking was sent to the White House Office of Management and Budget on April 4. It must receive approval before it can be published in the Federal Register and opened for public comment.

Although the specifics of the notice haven’t been released, previous regulatory agendas state that it “will seek comments on a proposal to require and/or standardize equipment performance for automatic emergency braking on heavy trucks.”

“NHTSA believes there is potential for AEB to improve safety by reducing the likelihood of rear-end crashes involving heavy vehicles and the severity of crashes,” the Fall 2022 regulatory agenda stated. “NHTSA is commencing the rulemaking process to potentially require new heavy vehicles to be equipped with automatic emergency braking systems, or to standardize AEB performance when the systems are optionally installed on vehicles.”

The 2021 infrastructure law required NHTSA and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration “to conduct a review of automatic emergency braking systems used in commercial motor vehicles and address any identified deficiencies in the rulemaking.”

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association continues to oppose any attempts to require automatic braking systems on heavy-duty trucks.

Jay Grimes, OOIDA’s director of federal affairs, said it is unclear what the proposal will say but that the Association is opposed to mandating any technology before it is perfected.

“We certainly have concerns about AEB technology and how it will work in certain driving conditions, most notably at night,” Grimes said. “We want to make sure these systems are not giving off false alarms and false detections that distract drivers and take the control out of their hands.”

Grimes said he expects to see a notice of proposed rulemaking published in the Federal Register in the next couple of months.

“Once the proposal is published, we’ll have a lot more details about how this potential mandate would unfold,” he said. LL