Buttigieg Mandates New Auto Regulation

Pete Buttigieg

(TheRedAlertNews.com) – In the very near future, it will be mandatory for all new passenger vehicles in the US to include automatic emergency braking as a standard feature because of a decision imposed by US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.

According to the Biden administration, this mandate is projected to prevent numerous fatalities and avert thousands of injuries annually.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced the definitive version of this regulation on Monday, labeling it the most critical safety mandate in the last twenty years.

This rule aims to significantly reduce the incidence of rear-end and pedestrian collisions and to decrease the approximately 40,000 traffic-related fatalities that occur each year.

“We’re living through a crisis in roadway deaths. So we need to do something about it,” Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg remarked during an interview.

This represents the government’s initial endeavor to regulate automated driving technologies, potentially mitigating some of the issues that have emerged with driver-assist and fully automated driving systems.

Although approximately 90% of new cars currently feature automatic braking due to a voluntary accord with manufacturers, there are presently no standards governing their performance, rendering some systems less effective.

The new regulations will mandate that vehicles are capable of autonomously stopping to prevent collisions with other vehicles or pedestrians, even in low-light conditions, The New York Post reports.

“Part of how I think we’re going to turn the corner on the unacceptable level of roadway deaths that we just lived with for my entire lifetime is through these kinds of technologies. We need to make sure we set high performance standards,” Buttigieg, 42, asserted.

The implementation of these standards, which will necessitate advancements in software and possibly the integration of additional hardware like radar, is not expected for another five-plus years.

This timeframe is intended to allow automakers to enhance their systems within the normal cycle of model updates, according to NHTSA.

Although these requirements will increase vehicle costs—an estimated $354 million annually or $82 per vehicle, as per 2020 figures—Buttigieg highlighted the significant benefits: preventing around 362 deaths and 24,000 injuries each year, in addition to saving billions in property damages.

However, some critics argue that these standards are overdue and criticize them for seemingly excluding provisions for bicyclists, scooter users, and other vulnerable groups.

According to NHTSA, in 2019, nearly 2.2 million rear-end collisions were reported nationwide, resulting in 1,798 deaths and injuring 574,000 individuals. The majority of these fatal and injurious incidents occurred on roads with speed limits of 60 mph or less.

Furthermore, 6,272 pedestrians were fatalities in vehicular accidents, with 65% being struck by the front of a passenger car. The vast majority of deaths, injuries, and property damage occur at speeds above 25 mph, which are not addressed by the current voluntary agreement.

“Only regulation can ensure that all vehicles are equipped with AEB (automatic emergency braking) that meet minimum performance requirements,” the regulation states.

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