EU, Japan Back Automatic Emergency Braking Rule

The European Union and Japan support a United Nations plan that would require new passenger and light commercial vehicles to be equipped with automatic emergency braking systems, beginning in 2020, Reuters reports.

The UN proposal would require systems that apply strong braking if a driver fails to do so at speeds as great as 60 kph (37 mph). The technology is considered especially useful in urban areas to reduce rear-end crashes and impacts involving pedestrians.

Such crashes kill 3,800 pedestrians per year in the European Union, according to the UN Economic Commission for Europe. UNECE notes that Implementing the standard would affect some 4 million vehicles in Japan and 15 million in the EU per year.

China, India and the U.S. are not part of UN regulations upon which the emergency braking standard would be added, UNECE says.