NTTC Submits Comments to NHTSA on Heavy Vehicle Automatic Emergency Braking; AEB Test Devices

 On September 5, the National Tank Truck Carriers (NTTC) submitted a letter to NHTSA Acting Administrator Ann Carlson regarding Docket Number NHTSA-2023-0023 (Heavy Vehicle Automatic Emergency Braking; AEB Test Devices).

A proposed rule July 6 of 2023, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration seeks to adopt a new Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) to require automatic emergency braking (AEB) systems on heavy vehicles. NHTSA also proposes to amend FMVSS No. 136 to require nearly all heavy vehicles to have an electronic stability control system that meets the equipment requirements, general system operational capability requirements, and malfunction detection requirements of FMVSS No. 136. An AEB system uses multiple sensor technologies and sub-systems that work together to sense when the vehicle is in a crash imminent situation and automatically applies the vehicle brakes if the driver has not done so or automatically applies more braking force to supplement the driver's applied braking. Further, NHTSA proposes Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations requiring the electronic stability control and AEB systems to be on during vehicle operation.

In its letter, NTTC supported the proposals as outlined based on the positive experience that association members have had with AEB systems. Prior to this technology being installed, rear end collisions were amongst the costliest claims that companies have experienced. With proven results to help reduce and mitigate crashes, the NTTC Board of Directors and NTTC Safety and Security Council offered widespread support for mandating AEB systems in future truck model years. NTTC also applauded the government determination not to propose AEB retrofitting requirements, acknowledging that cost and complexity for adding AEB systems onto existing vehicles would render requirements ineffective. NTTC also emphasized its opposition to a manually operated AEB deactivation switch, asserting that these systems should be active whenever a truck is in operation.

A copy of the letter submitted to NHTSA can be found by clicking here.