The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, H.R. 3684 (117), was signed into law by President Biden on November 15, 2021. In addition to $550 billion in funding for improvements to roads and bridges and broadband expansion, the bill also contains a number of provisions requiring the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and, by delegation, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to mandate certain safety features for new passenger cars manufactured for sale and distribution in the United States.
The legislation will launch a significant wave of new NHTSA notice and comment rulemaking activities over the next several years that will define the details of how these requirements will impact vehicle manufacturers and suppliers. Some of these provisions include:
While many vehicles on the road today already incorporate some of the technologies highlighted above—including forward collision warning, AEB, and rear seat reminders—others such as the drunk driving prevention technology are likely to require additional innovation on the part of manufacturers. In addition, updates to the NCAP standards and rating system will impact where manufacturers choose to invest R&D resources in the coming years.