40 countries agree all new cars must have automatic braking

The regulation will start taking effect next year first in Japan

Forty countries led by Japan and the European Union — but not the U.S. or China — have agreed to require new cars and light commercial vehicles to be equipped with automated braking systems starting as soon as next year, a U.N. agency said Tuesday.

The regulation will require all vehicles sold to come equipped with the technology by which sensors monitor how close a pedestrian or object might be. The system can trigger the brakes automatically if a collision is deemed imminent and if the driver doesn’t appear set to respond in time.

The measure will apply to vehicles at “low speeds”: 60 kilometres per hour (42 mph) or less, and only affects new cars sold in the markets of signatory countries — so vehicle owners won’t be required to retrofit their cars and trucks already on the roads today.

The regulation will start taking effect next year first in Japan, where 4 million cars and light commercial vehicles were sold in 2018, said Jean Rodriguez, the spokesman for the agency, called United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, or UNECE. The European Union, and some of its closest neighbours, is expected to follow suit in 2022.

The United States, China and India are members of the U.N. forum that adopted the new regulations. However, they did not take part in the negotiations because they want to ensure that their national regulations keep precedence over U.N. rules when it comes to the auto industry.

UNECE says the countries that agreed to the deal want to be more pro-active in fighting roadway accidents, particularly in urban settings where obstacles like pedestrians, scooters, bicycles and other cars in close proximity abound. The agency pointed to more than 9,500 roadway deaths in the EU in 2016, and EU Commission estimates that the braking systems could help save over 1,000 lives a year in the bloc.

Apparently wary that the regulations might be seen as a step toward giving artificial intelligence precedence over humans, the drafters put in clear language in their resolution: A driver can take control and override these automated braking systems at any time, such as through “a steering action or an accelerator kick-down.”

UNECE says the new rules build on existing U.N. rules on the braking system for trucks and buses, mainly for safety in higher-speed motorway conditions.

Jamey Keaten, The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Interceptions, turnovers costly for Cowichan Piggies

Game against United should have been closer, coach says

WFP Mills in Cowichan Bay, Ladysmith still idle after strike

Western Forest Products claims log supply, markets to blame

Cowichan 49ers move on in Grover Cup

Four-time champs play in quarter-finals Saturday

Penalties, poor luck problematic for Isles

Kerry Park playing well in playoffs, still haven’t beaten Oceanside

Brentwood boys make it four Island titles in a row

Mill Bay school off to provincials next week

Cheslatta Carrier Nation and Rio Tinto sign a historic agreement

Co-operation crucial to stem dropping Nechako Reservoir level

Hundreds of B.C. firefighters ‘climb the wall’ for BC Lung Association

The charity fundraiser saw participants climbing up 48 storeys

Stories of sexual assault at B.C. tree planting camps ‘shocking but not surprising:’ advocate

Contractors’ association is working with trainers to create respectful culture

Lawyer gets house arrest for possessing child porn

Maple Ridge resident gets nine-month term

Notorious B.C. fugitive to be extradited from California on murder charge

Brandon Nathan Teixeira submitted to extradition during court proceedings Thursday in Sacramento

Canada prepared to monitor for community spread of COVID-19: Tam

The U.S. confirmed one case of the new coronavirus, or COVID-19, in California Thursday

Decade-long health care battle draws to a close today in B.C.

Dr. Brian Day began his battle a decade ago against the B.C. government

Most Read