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A proposal to require Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) in heavy vehicles is open for public feedback.

The Federal Government has released a consultation Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) regarding the technology, which it says would reduce the number and severity of heavy vehicle rear impact crashes.

Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister Andrew Gee said heavy vehicles represent three per cent of all registered vehicles in Australia and accounted for just over eight per cent of vehicle kilometres travelled on public roads, however they were involved in 17 per cent of fatal crashes.

“In line with the National Road Safety Action Plan 2018-2020, the Government has released a consultation Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) to examine options more closely,” Mr Gee said.

“The RIS identifies Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) that meets international standards as the most effective countermeasure available. The RIS proposes to adopt AEB across the new heavy vehicle fleet.”

Mr Gee said the RIS also considered expanding requirements for Electronic Stability Control where AEB was fitted and applying the requirements to some smaller vehicles as well.

“Regardless of where the fault lies, crashes involving heavy vehicles can be particularly severe,” he said.

“Crashes involving heavy vehicles striking the rear of other vehicles cost the community around $200 million each year. They also have a devastating effect on the individuals and families involved.

“AEB systems detect likely forward collisions, provide the driver with a warning and, if the driver does not respond, puts the brakes on automatically.”

Research commissioned by the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development has found that AEB systems meeting the standards would reduce the number and severity of almost 15 per cent of all heavy vehicle crashes, with reductions of fatalities and injuries by up to 57 per cent.

The consultation RIS is available at https://www.infrastructure.gov.au/vehicles/design/adr_comment.aspx and will remain open for a six-week public comment period. Submissions may be emailed to: standards@infrastructure.gov.au

Braking technology proposal for heavy vehicle fleet