The Australian Government has announced that it will introduce an Australian Design Rule (ADR) mandating the fitment of autonomous emergency braking (AEB) in light vehicles.

The ADR specifies that AEB systems must be fitted on newly-introduced vehicle models from March 2023, and all models on sale in Australia from March 2025.

Australasia’s independent vehicle safety consumer advocate, ANCAP SAFETY, has welcomed the announcement.

ANCAP has been strongly encouraging the voluntary fitment of AEB technology across the Australian and New Zealand fleets through its national community awareness and advocacy activities since 2012, and more formally through its safety testing and star rating program since 2015.

“A key role played by ANCAP is to build consumer awareness, confidence and demand for vehicle safety features and technologies through its non-regulatory approach. AEB has consistently been shown to improve safety outcomes, and our latest analysis of new light vehicle sales shows 89.5 percent of all new vehicles sold – 222 models – were available with AEB,” said ANCAP Chief Executive Officer, Carla Hoorweg.

“This is a significant achievement, and the automotive industry is to be congratulated for its efforts in achieving such a high fitting rate ahead of regulatory intervention. Voluntary fitment alone however cannot achieve full market coverage. The mandating of AEB will push manufacturers that have been slow to introduce this technology to catch up – ensuring 100 percent of new Australian vehicles will have the benefit of AEB from March 2025.”

AEB has been shown to reduce police-reported crashes by 55 percent, rear-end crashes by 40 percent and vehicle occupant trauma by 28 percent . These safety benefits are expected to improve further following the introduction of the ADR and evolution in the sophistication of AEB systems being encouraged through ANCAP’s safety rating criteria. It is estimated that the implementation of ADR 98/00 and 98/01 will save 580 lives and avoid 20,400 serious and 73,340 minor injuries – net benefit of $1.9 billion.

ANCAP’s analysis on the availability of AEB, including the AEB status of the top 100 selling models, can be viewed here. Footage of AEB performance testing can be viewed here.