Forty countries have agreed to a United Nations regulation draft that calls for automatic emergency braking to be standard equipment on all new cars and commercial vehicles by early 2020. Chief among the countries are members of the European Union and Japan.
Reuters reported on the regulation draft Tuesday and countries will move to adopt the regulation in a June session of the UN. The language calls for automatic emergency braking systems to work at speeds up to 60 kph (roughly 37 mph). The EU and Japan have led the development of the regulation, which harmonizes the requirements for the systems and will make the systems required equipment in all new cars going forward. There is no regulation to fit older vehicles with the technology, which requires various sensors tied into vehicle steering and braking systems.
The U.S., China, and India are not part of the regulation, which reportedly builds upon an older standard set in 1958. However, automakers have previously committed to including automatic emergency braking systems as a standard feature in 99 percent of new cars sold in the U.S. by late 2021. The 20 major automakers that sell cars in the U.S. agreed to guidelines set by the NHTSA and the IIHS in 2016.
The agreement hasn't stopped the NTSB from making its own calls for Congress to act. In the government agency's annual wish list for the legislative body, it asked Congress to make automatic emergency braking systems standard on all cars by law. It also said the technology should be mandated on every new motorhome, bus, and semi truck on U.S. roads.
More automakers have already begun to include automatic emergency braking as standard equipment. Often, the feature is bundled in a suite of additional active safety features such as active lane control and adaptive cruise control.