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All New U.S. Cars Must Carry Automatic Brakes by 2029

·2 mins

Starting in 2029, a new federal safety regulation will require all new cars and trucks in the United States to be sold with automatic emergency braking — sensors that hit the brakes to avoid a collision if the driver does not.

The new rule, which was made final, imposes more stringent requirements than the automatic emergency braking technology now sold on most vehicles. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration set a September 2029 date for compliance, saying it was confident that the systems would be ready by then.

Under the standards, all ’light vehicles’ will have to be able to automatically hit their brakes to avoid hitting another vehicle at speeds of up to 62 miles per hour. The system will also have to at least begin to apply the brakes at speeds up to 90 m.p.h. if a collision is imminent. The system will have to detect pedestrians, too.

The rules are necessary because of steadily climbing traffic deaths in recent years, officials argued. An estimated 41,000 people were killed in automobile accidents in the United States in 2023.

Automatic braking systems are a relatively new feature and they have already helped save lives. Introduced in 2011, they typically use cameras, radar or both to identify other vehicles, pedestrians, or obstacles in front of a car.

Carmakers have voluntarily agreed to make the technology standard in all new cars and trucks. About 90 percent of new vehicles on sale now have some form of automatic emergency braking.

Regulators said carmakers had expressed concern about ’taking away the driver’s authority’ at high speeds.

The Biden administration estimated the rule’s cost at an average of $23 per vehicle.