In May, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking requiring Advanced Emergency Braking (AEB) systems on passenger cars and light trucks.
And in June, another rule was proposed for AEB systems on heavy trucks as well.
The proposed rules are expected to dramatically reduce crashes associated with pedestrians and rear-end crashes.
But will this affect the work truck industry? Yes — under the new law, new commercial trucks over 10,000 pounds must have automatic emergency braking systems and stability control systems.
What Is AEB Systems?
AEB goes beyond the driver's capabilities, automatically applying the brakes when necessary and supplementing the driver's braking efforts to avert potential disasters on the road.
Using the inputs from the sensors, an AEB system analyzes various parameters such as the vehicle's speed, distance from surrounding objects, and relative motion to determine the likelihood of an impending crash.
With its fast-processing capabilities, the system accurately evaluates the criticality of the situation, leaving no room for error.
When the AEB system identifies an imminent collision and detects that the driver has not initiated braking, it takes immediate action.
Additionally, in cases where the driver's braking efforts are insufficient, the AEB system supplements them by increasing braking force, thereby optimizing the chances of avoiding or reducing the severity of the crash.
According to NHTSA Chief Counsel Ann Carlson, “Our proposed rule would require all cars to be able to stop and avoid contact with a vehicle in front of them up to 62 miles per hour. And the proposal would require pedestrian AEB, including requiring that AEB recognize and avoid pedestrians at night.”
What the Rule Means for the Work Truck Industry
The proposed rule will apply to newly manufactured vehicles. It will not require existing ones to be retrofitted.
According to FMVSS No. 136, it will apply in a two-tiered phase:
- Vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating over 26,000 pounds, would have to be manufactured with AEB beginning the first September three years after the final rule is published.
- Vehicles not subject to ESC rules (10,001-26,000 pounds) would have an additional year.
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