A new regulation from the National Highway Traffic Administration requiring automatic emergency braking (AEB) on all new passenger vehicles by September 2029 has been called a “step forward for safety.”

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) President David Harkey made the comment but called the timelime for compliance “unnecessary.”

“We applaud the new regulation, which will ensure that all passenger vehicles come with robust AEB systems that can operate at high speeds and detect pedestrians in both daylight and dark conditions,” he said.

“That’s something we specifically asked NHTSA to require after our research showed that existing pedestrian AEB systems weren’t performing well in the dark.

“However, we are disappointed that NHTSA has given the industry five years from now to meet the new requirement, as we believe it would be feasible for manufacturers to comply far sooner.”

Harkey said in the interim, IIHS would continue working to ensure AEB systems recognized motorcycles, heavy trucks and bicycles in addition to passenger vehicles and pedestrians, which he said could save an additional 1,000 lives each year.