Australasia's independent vehicle safety consumer advocate, ANCAP Safety, has welcomed the announcement by the Australian Government to introduce an Australian design rule (ADR) mandating the fitment of autonomous emergency braking (AEB) in light vehicles.

The new ADR specifies the regulatory requirement for AEB systems to be fitted on new vehicle models from March 2023, then all models on sale in Australia from March 2025; slightly behind the European regulatory introduction timeframe of July 2022 and July 2024.

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.

Australian Design Rule 98/00 (car-to-car AEB) and ADR 98/01 (car-to-pedestrian AEB) implements the provisions of UN Regulation 152 for the Australian market. It will apply to all passenger cars, off-road passenger cars and light goods vehicles (MA, MB, MC and NA category vehicles).

AEB has been shown to reduce police-reported crashes by 55 per cent, rear-end crashes by 40% and vehicle occupant trauma by 28%.

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 close to $1.9 billion.

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